Ministry defends Boxer specs after criticism about equipment

Ljubljana – The Defence Ministry said that the 45 Boxer armoured vehicles Slovenia is buying through OCCAR satisfy all technical demands as it responded Friday to a report alleging that equipment had been pared down to hit a low enough price point.

Only “less important technical requirements” were dropped in negotiations for the purchase of the vehicles, the ministry said.

The reaction came after Necenzurirano, an investigative reporting outlet, said it saw documents showing the vehicles will be delivered without some key equipment that had been demanded by the Armed Forces.

It said the Defence Ministry had given up some of the gear because it wanted to “artificially reduce the price” following months of controversy about the deal.

In amendments to the investment programme, the ministry reportedly changed several features from mandatory to optional, including weaponry, communications and several advanced protective features.

The ministry retorted that in the course of amending the investment programme, all technical and functional specifications had been discussed by a task force comprising mostly army experts, noting that all decisions had been unanimous.

The Slovenian version of the Boxers will have a 30mm cannon, 7.63mm machine gun, and an anti-tank system called Skipe. It is “virtually identical” to the specifications Lithuania ordered in 2018.

The boxers will “satisfy the requirements for the creation of a medium-sized battalion battlegroup and be capable of providing the necessary effects,” the Slovenian Armed Forces added.

The STA has sent a number of additional questions to the Defence Ministry concerning this deal and is still awaiting answers.