(MENAFN) The United States has offered Slovakia a deal to provide 12 advanced military helicopters as compensation for the MiG-29 fighter jets that Slovakia intends to give to Ukraine. The proposed deal involves Slovakia paying $340 million for the Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters, which are valued at approximately $1 billion, and includes 500 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles as well as training for Slovakian pilots. The remaining cost of $660 million would be covered by U.S. foreign military financing. The European Union has also agreed to provide Slovakia with an additional compensation of 200 million euros ($213 million).
Although the Slovakian government has not yet accepted the offer, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad has stated that the deal would significantly increase the defense capability of Slovakia. He added that the country's armed forces currently do not have any combat helicopters, making this proposed acquisition all the more important.
The provision of these helicopters would represent a significant upgrade in Slovakia's military capability, which has long been seen as lagging behind that of other European countries. As such, the deal is likely to be welcomed by those who have been advocating for greater investment in the country's military infrastructure.
However, the proposed deal is not without controversy. Some critics have questioned whether the purchase of attack helicopters is really necessary, and have raised concerns about the potential for escalation in regional tensions. Nevertheless, proponents of the deal argue that it is a necessary step in modernizing Slovakia's military and enhancing its ability to defend itself against potential threats. Ultimately, it will be up to the Slovakian government to weigh up the benefits and risks of accepting the U.S. offer.
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