In a display of bilateral cooperation, the Ministries of Defence of Slovakia and Germany have signed a gift agreement, donating two MANTIS very short-range air defence systems to Slovakia.
The Modular, Automatic and Network Capable Targeting and Interception System (MANTIS) is a stationary, fully automated weapon station developed by Germany.
Originally designed to protect the Bundeswehr’s forward-operating bases in Afghanistan, MANTIS provides air defence coverage for military installations. It excels at detecting, tracking, and neutralizing incoming threats such as cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortar shells, and drones.
The aim is to bolster Slovakia’s air defence capabilities along its eastern border with Ukraine, ensuring national infrastructure protection. The gift reflects the partnership between the two nations and their commitment to reinforcing NATO’s eastern defences.
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To support Ukraine’s defence against the Russian Federation’s aggression, Slovakia has been actively supporting its eastern neighbour. One notable contribution was the delivery of Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers.
The exchange between Slovakia and Germany has strengthened with an arms swap to support Ukraine. Slovakia received a third Leopard 2A4 tank from Germany, further enhancing its armoured capabilities. In return, Slovakia transferred 30 BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.
During a Slovak Ministry of Defence meeting, the Slovak National Director for Defence Capabilities, Dalibor Pavolka, and his German counterpart, Thomas Frankenberger, formalized the gift agreement. The Federal Republic of Germany will provide two MANTIS systems to Slovakia free of charge and permanently.
The first MANTIS system is expected to be delivered to Slovakia in the coming weeks, with the precise date to be confirmed by the German side.
Defence Minister Martin Sklenár expressed his gratitude for the donation: “The gifting of the MANTIS systems to the Slovak Armed Forces comes as an outcome of Allies’ positive reflection on our responsible partnership and long-term tireless engagement to the benefit of national and collective security.“
The MANTIS air defence systems will enhance Slovakia’s Ground-Based Air Defence firepower. Each MANTIS system comprises six automatic weapon stations, with the option to include up to eight guns, two sensor units and a command post.
Additionally, Germany will provide three MANTIS surveillance radars with a range of up to 100km and deliver specialized training to Slovak soldiers.
Currently, 44 Slovak servicemen and women are undergoing comprehensive training on the MANTIS system by the Bundeswehr at the Todendorf Military Training Area in Germany. Upon their training, these personnel will be deployed to eastern Slovakia to operate the MANTIS systems in defence of the state.