A team of military specialists has completed the field testing phase of the 8×8 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) prototype, being developed for the Slovak Armed Forces, this week.
The 8×8 IFV prototype is the outcome of a joint Slovak-Finish development project. This phase will be followed by the drafting of technical (proposed construction design adjustments) and organisational (vehicle-related documentation) measures, an expert analysis of results, and a report to be submitted to the Slovak Cabinet.
The field trials were carried out uninterruptedly between 19 March and 26 April 2018 by Slovak Armed Forces personnel and specialists from the Military Technical and Testing Institute (VTSÚ) Záhorie. In the coming period, the data gathered from all tests will be evaluated and analysed to provide a comprehensive picture of the vehicleʼs operational and tactical specifications. The results will be published in a report, which will then, along with the proposed solution for the way ahead with the 8×8 IFV programme, be submitted by Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš to the Slovak Cabinet.
The field trials culminated in the test firing of the vehicleʼs anti-tank guided systems. “The prototype vehicle has so far undergone company, technical, verification and military trials both in Slovakia and in Finland. The specific trials were aimed at verifying all of the 8×8 IFVʼs technical specifications and systems functionalities. A series of tests were conducted under demanding winter climatic conditions in the Republic of Finland in temperatures as low as -25˚C,” explained Igor Dobrovič, Director of the Armaments Planning and Economic Mobilisation Branch, Modernisation and Infrastructure Department, Slovak MOD.
“The combination of the Finnish Patria platform and the Slovak TURRA weapons station has proved to be very efficient. You have an excellent team, from whom we have learned a lot, because this is a development project and nothing is prepared in advance,” said Olli Dahl, a member of the Finnish Testing Team from Patria.
The prime contractor for this research and development (R&D) task is Slovakiaʼs KONŠTRUKTA – Defence, a.s., which is the latest example of the MODʼs efforts to involve Slovak defence manufactures in the 8×8 IFV programme to the maximum extent possible, in line with the Slovak Government Manifesto Commitments.