Slovenia to buy Leonardo C-27J Spartan

Slovenia buy Leonardo C27 Spartan
Leonardo C-27J Spartan. Slovenia will become the new user of the aircraft. 

Slovenia aims to procure a Leonardo C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft under a government-to-government contract with Italy, the Slovenian Defence Ministry said on Friday.

After a long evaluation, Ljubljana has finally decided to buy the C-27J after the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need for the country to introduce a modern and performing cargo plane.

In addition to the deal for the aircraft, the Slovenian government is also considering expanding cooperation between the two countries in the logistics, maintenance and training fields.

Ljubljana started looking at a new TTL (Taktično Transportno Letalo - Tactical Transport Aircraft) for the Slovenian Armed Forces in 2006.

The nation initially opted for Airbus Military & Defense's CASA C-295, but the purchase was never finalized following the fatal crash of a Polish Air Force C-295 in 2008.

Although the cause of the accident was attributed to pilot error, Slovenia canceled the project as "the safety of Slovenian soldiers and military personnel is at the top of our priorities. In these circumstances, the Ministry has decided to stop the process of acquiring a military transport aircraft."

The project remained frozen until a few months ago. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Slovenian Armed Forces suffered from the lack of an aircraft capable of recovering compatriots abroad and transporting medical equipment to the country.

The Minister of Defense has thus decided to reopen the TTL dossier and after a market evaluation between Leonardo C-27J, EADS CASA C-295, Lockheed Martin C-130J-30, Embraer C-390 and Airbus A-400M, the Italian platform won over the other contenders.

“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.

Although the nation will initially purchase only one aircraft, the Slovenian Ministry of Defense has estimated a need for two Spartans in order to meet NATO's performance targets.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credit: Italian Air Force

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