The Slovak Republic defense ministry revealed on Saturday it had delivered the first batch of a total of eight Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.
Reports from the country also reiterated plans to send MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, as early as next month. Slovakia first mulled the handover of the Soviet fighters earlier this summer, but a decision was contingent on guarantees by the Czech Republic and Poland that they would help Slovakia safeguard its skies following the transfer. The country’s air force currently flies 11 MiG-29 jets.
The four Zuzana howitzers that have been handed over through the state-owned company Konštrukta Defense were bought under a contract from June of this year.
“On the basis of the concluded commercial contract, the Ukrainian side took over the first four pieces of the 155mm Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzer,” confirmed the director of the state joint-stock company Konštrukta Defense Alexander Gurský.
“Dialogue with Ukrainian partners is regular, intensive and conducted in such a way that our aid to Ukraine is as effective, targeted and ultimately life-saving as possible. Because that is our primary goal – to contribute to saving as many lives as possible and to help our Ukrainian friends stop this senseless and wanton bloodshed,” Slovak Republic defense minister Jaroslav Naď said.
Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksii Reznikov confirmed the arrival of the howitzers on the same day, adding that these were the 7th such NATO-style weapons now in service with the Ukrainian Army.
As noted by the defense minister, the Zuzanas will be joining M777, FH70, CAESARs, M109, Krabs and PzH2000 howitzers already in use with Ukrainian armed forces as they defend the country against the Russian invasion that was launched in February this year.
The Zuzana 2 155 mm howitzer is an artillery system integrated on a wheeled 8 x 8 chassis, with an external weapon mount outside the operator’s area, equipped with a fully automatic loading system and fire control system.