Breton ‘very impressed’ after visiting an ammunition plant in Slovakia
The ammunition plant in the city of Dubnica nad Váhom is ‘very impressive’ and has ‘ironclad’ plan to increase ammunition production two or threefold, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said as part of his 11-EU country Defence Tour to boost ammunition production on Wednesday.
On his visit to the ammunition plant, Breton met with the management of Slovak MSM Group, one of the leaders in producing high-performance ammunition.
The facility in Dubnica nad Váhom and other plants of the Slovak manufacturer “have a very strong know-how and knowledge in order to be able to participate in our programme”, he added.
“I have been personally very impressed,” said Breton, adding that he has seen “a very credible, well-documented plan to increase the production drastically, by two or even three times“.
Other companies and groups in Slovakia could add to the European production of defence material, Breton said.
“We are not talking only about 155 mm ammunition, but also about other products, which will be necessary for the context of a strong increase of the defence spending of the Member States, because they are all committed to spending more or less 2% of their GDP,” he added.
It was “a perfect meeting, extremely important for the Slovak defence industry and our economy,” Slovakia’s Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď, who accompanied Breton on his visit, said.
Slovakia fully supports the European initiative for accelerated delivery and joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine, which also includes measures to increase the production capacity of the European defence industry, the Slovak minister added.
“Our defence industry is ready to contribute to this effort, and on the other hand, the EU has the tools to motivate the industry to increase such production. Therefore we are talking about the need for a significant investment,” Naď added.
In the European Union, 15 companies from 11 member states are currently able to produce the 155 mm calibre artillery ammunition Ukraine needs, according to a recent European Defence Agency survey.
(Lucia Yar | EURACTIV.sk)