The Slovenian government announced on 16 September that it is terminating a €281 million contract for the purchase of 45 Boxer armoured vehicles from the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and that it will withdraw from the programme.
The decision comes after a defence ministry-ordered audit discovered that the contractual price did not include all costs, as well as an adequate price comparison or explicit information on whether the vehicles had been tested in real-life conditions as required by the national defence strategy.
Withdrawing from the deal that the previous government had signed during its last days in office may see Slovenia finned up to €70 million.
Slovenia signed a contract in May for the delivery of 45 Boxer 8×8 armoured wheeled vehicles in four different variants.
The Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicles were intended to form the backbone of a medium-sized battalion battlegroup that Slovenia was obliged to establish in line with its NATO commitments.
Defence Minister Marjan Šarec said the ministry has now been tasked with finding an alternative solution by the end of the year.
“Our objective is to satisfy NATO requirements regarding the capabilities of our battlegroups, but not at any cost and most certainly not with prototypes,” said Prime Minister Robert Golob.
“What we’re going to be looking for in the future is how to secure these capabilities much more efficiently and cheaply and as compliant as possible with what the Slovenian army already has,” he added.
Matej Tonin, the former defence minister who signed the agreement, called the termination “exceptionally damaging” and driven by “stubborn political opposition to the previous government.”
Boxer armoured fighting vehicle
|Type:||Armoured fighting vehicle|
|Country of origin:||Germany, Netherlands|
|Produced:||2009 – present|
|In service:||2011 – present|
|Operators:||Australia, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, United Kingdom|
|Crew:||3 + 8 passengers|
|Armour:||AMAP composite armour|
|Main armament:||12.7 mm machine gun; or 40 mm grenade launcher|
|Engine:||MTU 8V 199 TE20 diesel (711 hp)|
|Range:||1,100 km (684 mi)|
|Maximum speed:||103 km/h (64 mph)|