A Slovak delegation from the Ministry of Defence, headed by Minister Jaroslav Naď, visited Lockheed Martin’s factory, which produces new F-16 fighter jets, in the US city of Greenville, South Carolina. The aim of the minister’s personal visit was to check the progress of aircraft production for the Slovak National Council, as well as to negotiate the establishment of a strategic partnership. “Given that this is the largest investment project of the Slovak Republic to date in the framework of the modernization of the Slovak OS, I had the need to come to Lockheed Martin personally and thus emphasize the importance that we attach to this contract,” minister J. Naď said.

After a tour of the production halls and negotiations with company representatives, he informed that the company’s operation is also affected by the adverse situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also temporarily affected its personnel and supplies. Minister J. Naď on the implementation of the acquisition of F-16 fighter jets stressed that the change in aviation is not only a purchase of technology that we will use for decades, but also an opportunity to deepen the strategic partnership. He also wants to talk about the issue during a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd James Austin III at the Pentagon. As part of the development of the partnership, the current management of the Defence Department also emphasises the support of the domestic defence industry and discusses its involvement in production processes. For this reason, representatives of air repairers Trenčín, a.s. are also part of the delegation and negotiations.

Following the decision of the NHS, a new mobile diagnostic ultrasound system and an ultralight ventilator for patient ventilation will be added from the donated funds to the hospital’s equipment. “When I talk about the partnership, I am very pleased that its first real results will soon be felt by the public in Slovakia,” the minister said.

The head of the Defence Department has also announced further support from an American partner for funding for the Military Historical Institute, with further intensive support also expected in relation to the SNP Museum.

The delegation of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces, together with the Chairman of the Committee of the National Council for Defence and Security Juraj Krúp and deputy chief of the General Staff of the OS SR genpor. Ľubomír Svoboda also visited air force pilots of the Slovak Armed Forces undergoing training for new F-16 fighter jets in Arizona. “I was interested in the course of the training and also what the pilots would need from our side. They are already achieving fantastic results during training and they are performing their tasks at a high level, we will continue to be of the utmost assistance to them,” added Minister J. Naď.