At today's meeting, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia was informed on the progress of the procedure for the purchase of 8x8 combat vehicles for the Central Battalion Battle Group and the intention of the Republic of Slovenia to join the multinational BOXER program within the framework of the international organization OCCAR. (Emphasis added—Ed.)
In the adopted long-term (Resolution on the General Long-Term Program for the Development and Equipping of the Slovenian Armed Forces until 2025) and the medium-term (Medium-Term Defense Program of the Republic of Slovenia 2016-2020), the defense ministry defines the equipping of the Slovenian Armed Forces with 8x8 combat vehicles (BKV 8 x 8).
In order to realize this investment, the Ministry of Defense has prepared and approved the required investment documentation. In the financial plan for the years 2018 and 2019, the Ministry of Defense has provided funding for the realization of the BKV project 8x8.
BKV 8 x 8 with appropriate armaments can be obtained in several different ways or by different procedures. The market survey examined the following options, which have a legal basis in Directive 2009/81 / EU on procurement in the field of defense and security or the Public Procurement Law in the field of defense and security:
-- the execution of a contract according to one of the procedures defined by the Public Procurement Act in the field of defense and security (hereinafter: the ZJNPOV);
-- the execution of a government-government procedure by a government of a EU Member State or a third country in connection with the supply of military equipment. Such contracts are excluded from the scope of the provisions of the ZJNP;
-- execution of a procurement procedure that is awarded in accordance with international rules. In practice, the majority of contracts based on this exception are made through the international organizations of the NATO Support and Purchasing Agency (hereinafter: NSPA) and the Organization for Mutual Cooperation in the Field of Arms (hereinafter: OCCAR);
-- execution of a procurement procedure pursuant to Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
On the basis of the market survey and the approved investment documentation, and taking into account the identified advantages, weaknesses and risks in the individual modes and procedures for selecting the BKV supplier 8 x 8, the Ministry of Defense adopted a unified and expert decision that the most appropriate procurement procedure for BKV 8 x 8 Slovenia to the existing multinational BOXER program within the international organization OCCAR.
OCCAR is an international organization whose primary purpose is to manage military programs and equipment throughout the life cycle. The organization was established by the OCCAR Convention, which is equivalent to an international treaty and can be joined by NATO Member States as members or as associated countries for each program. The OCCAR Member States are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and the associated or participating countries are Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Turkey, Sweden, Poland and Luxembourg. OCCAR currently manages 13 major programs, including BOXER. The OCCAR budget in 2017 is about 3.8 billion euros.
By participating in capacity-building within the framework of OCCAR, Slovenia would also fulfill several binding criteria for cooperation in the framework of the EU's permanent defense cooperation in the field of defense (PESCO), in the area of a common approach to address identified capacity deficits, using OCCAR as a priority management mechanism projects within PESCO, enhancing connectivity between European countries and promoting the strengthening of the European industrial base.
A multi-national program BOXER (BKV 8 x 8) is currently being built for the project of constructing a medium-sized battalion group of the Slovenian Armed Forces. It currently includes Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania, which joined the program in 2016 and concluded a contract for 91 vehicles.
Currently, BOXER currently has 696 vehicles in 14 different configurations, and already 421 vehicles (Germany and the Netherlands) have been delivered, which have also been successfully tested in Afghanistan (2011-2014). Currently, three Central European countries have an interest in joining the BOXER program along with the UK, two South American countries and Japan.
The modularity of the vehicle allows the purchase of separate modules (Drive Modules and Mission Modules) according to the actual needs and not the complete set of vehicles. In this way, it is possible to create the structure of the vehicle (modules) according to the actual needs in which the Republic of Slovenia will ensure the availability of these vehicles.
In February 2018, the Ministry of Defense will give a written initiative to the international organization OCCAR for Slovenia's accession to the multinational BOXER program. In the continuation, the Ministry will carry out all the activities necessary for the accession to the multinational BOXER program.
The final proposal for accession to the multinational BOXER program within the framework of the international organization OCCAR and the confirmation of legally binding documents will be discussed by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia at the proposal of the Ministry of Defense in September-October 2018.