Potential suppliers of armoured vehicles winnowed down to four
Finland, Poland, Romania and Italy have been asked by the Defence Ministry to send final offers after a preliminary round of inquiries for the supply of eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers for the Slovenian Armed Forces. The US was part of the preliminary inquiry but was not asked to send a final offer.
The US offered Stryker Dragoon and Stryker double V-hull vehicles, Finland offered Patria XPs, Poland the Rosomak-L model, Romania the Piranha 5, and Italy the Frecia, according to an answer to an MP question provided by Defence Minister Marjan Šarec.
The four countries were asked for the final offers after all the technical specifications were checked, and talks with all four are now ongoing.
After all the data has been collected and a survey of the market completed, the Defence Ministry will inform the government of the final choice. Šarec said the selection of supplier would be announced "very soon".
The decision to enter direct government-to-government talks was made after the previous government's decision to purchase Boxer vehicles via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) was revoked.
Slovenia agreed to pay a contractual fine worth several million euros, but expects to save a significant amount of money by buying cheaper vehicles.
Slovenia needs eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers in order to honour its commitment to NATO that it will set up a medium-sized battalion battlegroup plus a reconnaissance battalion.
The plan is to purchase a total of 106 vehicles at a total cost of about EUR 700 million.