Germany strengthens Slovakia’s air defense with MANTIS

In a demonstration of bilateral cooperation, the Ministries of Defense of Slovakia and Germany signed a gift agreement, donating two MANTIS very short-range air defense systems to Slovakia.

The Modular, Automatic and Network Capable Targeting and Interception System (MANTIS) is a fixed, fully automated weapon station developed by Germany.

Originally designed to protect Bundeswehr forward bases in Afghanistan, MANTIS provides air defense cover for military installations. It excels at detecting, tracking and neutralizing incoming threats such as cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortar rounds, and drones.

The aim is to strengthen Slovakia’s air defense capabilities along its eastern border with Ukraine, ensuring the protection of the national infrastructure. The gift reflects the cooperation between the two nations and their commitment to strengthen NATO’s eastern defenses.

To support the defense of Ukraine against the aggression of the Russian Federation, Slovakia actively supports its eastern neighbor. A notable contribution was delivery of Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers.

The exchange between Slovakia and Germany has been enhanced by an arms exchange in support of Ukraine. Slovakia has received a third Leopard 2A4 tank from Germany, further enhancing its armored capabilities. In return, Slovakia transferred 30 BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

During a meeting of the Slovak Defense Ministry, the Slovak National Director of Defense Capabilities, Dalibor Pavolka, and his German counterpart, Thomas Frankenberger, formalized the gift agreement. The Federal Republic of Germany will provide two MANTIS systems to Slovakia free of charge and permanently.

The first MANTIS system is expected to be delivered to Slovakia in the coming weeks, with the exact date to be confirmed by the German side.

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Defense Minister Martin Sklenár expressed his gratitude for the donation: The donation of MANTIS systems to the Slovak Armed Forces comes as a result of the Allies’ positive reflection on our responsible cooperation and our long-term tireless commitment to the benefit of national and collective security.

The MANTIS air defense systems will enhance the firepower of the Slovak Ground Air Defense. Each MANTIS system includes six automatic weapons stations, with the option to include up to eight guns, two sensor units and a command post.

In addition, Germany will provide three MANTIS surveillance radars with a range of up to 100 km and provide specialized training to Slovak soldiers.

Currently, 44 Slovak servicemen and women are undergoing comprehensive training in the MANTIS system from the Bundeswehr at the Todendorf Military Training Area in Germany. After their training, these personnel will be deployed in eastern Slovakia to operate MANTIS systems for the defense of the state.

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