Posted on Wed, Mar 22, 2023 at 9:12am EST
Last updated on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 9:15 AM EST
The Slovak Defense Minister said on Wednesday that the United States has offered Slovakia 12 new military helicopters as compensation for the MiG-29 fighter jets that the European country provided to Ukraine.
Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said that as part of the bid, Slovakia will pay $340 million for the Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters in a deal worth about $1 billion that also includes 500 AGM-114 Hellfire IIs and a configuration.
He said US foreign military financing would cover an additional $660 million. Nad said the European Union would also send Slovakia 200 million euros ($213 million) in additional compensation.
The Slovak government has not yet accepted the offer.
Nad said his country’s armed forces did not currently have helicopters and that the deal would “significantly increase Slovakia’s defense capability”.
The Slovak government on Friday approved a plan to supply Ukraine with its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming only the second NATO member to respond to Ukrainian government pleas for planes to help defend against a Russian invasion.
Slovakia grounded its MiGs this summer due to a lack of spare parts and the expertise to service them. Our NATO colleagues, Poland and the Czech Republic, have stepped in to monitor Slovak airspace.
Slovakia previously signed a deal to buy 14 US F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets, but deliveries were two years late, with the first aircraft arriving in early 2024.
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