Slovak Republic

In 2015, the Slovak military spending, was attributed by 56.2% to Personnel, 20.1% to Procurement & Construction and 19.2% to Operations & Maintenance, with other spending directions receiving much smaller percentages of the available budget.  


Under the communist regime, Czechoslovakia was one of the main arms producers in the Soviet bloc, and a major supplier of arms to third world countries. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the aviation and electronics sectors, as well as armament production capabilities were left to the Czech Republic, while Slovakia struggled to develop a strong customer base in the A&D sector. However, today the Slovakian aerospace industry has a notable portfolio of products and capabilities, such as engineering design and product development of the brightest LED lights in the aerospace industry, advanced biometric security access solutions and flight control equipment, including the DigitalFlightDeck, the world’s first touch OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) screen complete avionics suite, as well as the world’s first smart plane, the AveoPhantom .

In terms of Defence, many Slovak companies have developed within the field, contributing significantly to the employment of the country.

Today, the Slovak Aerospace & Defence Industry, has a significant position among the key industrial sites in Eastern Europe (including Poland, Romania and Czech Republic).
The Slovak Aerospace & Defence industry has a large potential. Today, the sector focuses on the design, development and manufacture of ammunition and artillery systems, mine-clearing equipment, as well as the development and manufacture of light and ultra-light aircraft and engine components for aircraft engines.

Nowadays, many Slovak private and state-owned companies, have developed their activities in the defence sector, either in the MRO areas or operating as subcontractors in international cooperation programs. Most of the sector’s companies, are members of the Security and Defence industry Association (ZBOP), established in 2000, with principal mission the promotion of the domestic manufacturing capabilities, and the development of a solid national technological and industrial base, to constitute one of the pillars of the national defence.

The biggest Slovakian company in the field, is the private-owned MSM Group; employing about 1,200 people, the company specialises in ammunition production and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), the repair of military air traffic and air defence control systems, remote control systems and meteorological equipment, in addition to the production of rifles and handguns, as well as the repair of wheeled and tracked military vehicles. Other significant private companies, are Way Industries (specialised in the production of turrets, MRO of military vehicles and known for its BOZENA mine clearing systems), and Virtual Reality Media – VRM (specialised in simulators production for several types of aerial and land platforms).

Significant part of the Slovak defence production is concentrated in the state-owned DMD Holding Group, which was established in 1995. DMD Holding comprises of the following arms producing firms:

  1. ZTS – ŠPECIÁL: mainly specialised in the production of artillery systems, howitzers, rocket launchers, mortars, medium and light combat turrets (turret system DVK-30) and gun barrels (30 to 155 mm).
  2. KONŠTRUKTA (part of the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program): operating as an artillery system design house.
  3. ZVS Holding: focusing on the development, production and sale in the areas of mechanical engineering, electronics and ammunition.

Other important companies are the private Willing (providing modernisation services for the MIG29s, engineering and MRO for various aircraft), SMS (repair, modernisation and maintenance, training, documentation & logistic support services in relation to military platforms and equipment, including Mi17 helicopters), Kerametal (production of armoured vehicles such as the ALIGATOR, TATRAPAN and ZUZANA) and the state-owned LOTN (recently awarded an up to €110 million contract by NATO (NSPA), for the maintenance and overall support of up to 40 Mi-17 transport helicopters in service with the Afghan National Army).

During the last 10 years (2005-2015), the Slovak Republic has exported a total of US $47 million of defence equipment, including Artillery, Aircraft, Sensors and Armoured vehicles (see chart below).

According to the SIPRI database, the main export destinations for this equipment included Cyprus, Afghanistan, Sudan and Vietnam.

Being well aware of its position in the European Defence Market as a smaller player, as well as the technological and industrial trends in the sector, Slovakia aims to excel in several niche areas, including simulation systems, R&D, production of ammunition and MRO and upgrading of outdated armoured vehicles. In this direction, the new types of acquired defence equipment and the possible associated transfer of technologies, could lead to further development of this sector that will ‘feed’ the Slovak economy, through the provision of new business opportunities and associated jobs.