Slovenia is to acquire the Leonardo C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, with the country’s government announcing on 15 January that the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed a lack of national airlift capacity and capability.
Having evaluated a number of options, the Slovenian 15th Aviation Wing (15th Polk Vojaskega Letalstva: 15th PVL) component of the joint Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) is to receive one or two of the Italian-built airlifters by 2025.
“A market study was conducted involving manufacturers and users of potential types of aircraft belonging to the category of light (CASA C295 manufactured by Airbus, and C-27J Spartan manufactured by Leonardo), and medium (C-130J-30 Hercules manufactured by Lockheed Martin, C-390 Millennium by Embraer, A400M by Airbus) transport aircraft and used aircraft providers,” the government said.
As the government noted, with Slovenia’s medium and heavy-lift requirements already adequately catered for under both the NATO-supported Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) and NATO-supported Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programmes, the decision was taken to acquire a light transport aircraft, which in turn led to the decision to go with the C-27J. “Two types of tactical transport aircraft were included in the final assessment, but after examining the minimum military technical requirements, the C-27J Spartan proved to be the best,” the government said. “The purchase of one C-27J Spartan aircraft will also partially meet the NATO] alliance’s performance targets. Two such aircraft would be needed to fully meet the performance targets.”