Forces: November 19, 2001


Slovakia has approved a plan to convert its military into a professional (i.e., all volunteer) force by 2006. This will include cutting the military from the current 42,600 to about 24,500, and increasing the percentage of women from the current 6% to at least 10%. Slovakia plans to hold its military spending at 1.89% of the gross domestic product, increasing this to 2% in 2006. This figure, with a smaller military, should fund the needed modernization. Tank strength will be cut from the current 270 to only 52, and combat aircraft will be cut from the current 60 to only 28. (Of these, 18 will be supersonic fighters, perhaps leased F-16s, while 10 will be subsonic trainers, either L159s or British Hawk-100s.)--Stephen V Cole


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