Ukraine and Slovakia to Jointly Develop New Howitzer: Report

Ukraine and Slovakia have signed an agreement to jointly develop a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer based on the Slovak Eva gun.

The Eva is a truck-mounted artillery system developed by the Slovak state company Konstrukta Defence. Unveiled in 2015, the self-propelled gun has a range of 41 kilometers (25 miles).

Meanwhile, the new howitzer will have technical inputs from both sides and be adapted to Ukrainian requirements, Slovak publication Denník K revealed.

Prototype Expected in One Year

Konstrukta Defense and Ukrainian Kramatorsk Heavy Machine Tool Plant are the partners in the project, which calls for developing a prototype within a year.

The companies recently signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop various weapon systems, including the howitzer.

“In Konstrukta Defence, we have found a good and reliable partner with whom we are developing projects in the field of mortars, ammunition, modernization of the Bogdan project, as well as in the development of a new 155-mm howitzer,” Denník K quoted Kramatorsk director Vitaliy Zagudaev as saying.

Cooperation on Zuzana Gun

The idea to develop the new howitzer was conceived while the two sides cooperated in the delivery of Slovak Zuzana 2 howitzers to Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

According to Denník K, the Ukrainian side’s satisfaction with the cooperation on the Zuzana howitzer prompted the idea to develop a new artillery platform together.

Elections Could Prove Hurdle

Despite the agreement, the outlet cautioned that a possible change in Slovakia’s government following the general elections scheduled in September could scuttle the project.

However, Konstrukta’s director Oleksandr Gurskyi assured that large defense projects usually remain immune to a change in government.

“The project with Ukrainian partners is a huge opportunity for our entire arms industry, which has either been in decline since 1989 or has been standing still,” Denník K quoted him as saying.

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