Slovakia is a Central European country bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the southwest, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. The primary threat to Slovakia is the Russian Federation and its ballistic missile arsenal, hybrid warfare tactics, and the potential to destabilize its neighbor, Ukraine. The country joined NATO in 2004 and has participated with the US and other NATO partners in the Tobruq Legacy exercise series, a multinational ground-based air defense exercise. The Slovak Air Force is part of NATO Integrated Air Defense System – NATINADS. In January 2021, Slovakia became the latest NATO member to purchase Israel’s multi-mission radar (MMR), the same radar used for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
Slovakia’s Air Defense Capabilities
|Long-range SAM system
|2K12 Kub 2M
|Tracked medium-range surface-to-air missile system
|Infrared homing surface-to-air missile system
|Multi-mission radar (MMR)
|Fixed Position Radar
In April 2022, Slovakia announced that they would be sending S-300 air defense systems to Ukraine. In return, NATO would reposition a Patriot system to Slovakia. In October 2023, following the election of a new government, Slovakia decided to halt all shipments of weapons to Ukraine. This marks a major turnaround in policy, as Slovakia was the first nation to send air defense forces to Ukraine following the start of the Russian invasion.
In October 2023, Slovakia chose to pursue a contact with Israel Aerospace Industries for Barak air defense systems for medium-range surface-to-air missile defense. In the same month, Slovakia received two MANTIS air defense systems from Germany, “free of charge.”
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