Slovenian Armed Forces Bolster Air Fleet: Procurement of Second C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft
In a move to bolster its air capabilities, the Slovenian Armed Forces are set to welcome a new addition to their fleet. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has recently greenlit a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing the country’s military prowess.
These projects, integrated into the Development Programs 2023-2026 (PNR 2023-2026) within the Slovenian Army’s budget, signify the nation’s commitment to adapting to evolving security challenges. Among the approved initiatives are the acquisition of an additional tactical transport aircraft, an advanced air defense system, six versatile multipurpose transport helicopters, and a formidable fleet of 106 wheeled combat vehicles. This strategic move aims to establish both a medium group and a reconnaissance battalion, positioning Slovenia to effectively address modern security dynamics.
The introduction of this second C-27J Spartan aircraft will significantly enhance operational availability and bridge gaps that may arise due to technical maintenance of the primary aircraft. The C-27J Spartan, developed and produced by Leonardo’s Aircraft Division (formerly Alenia Aermacchi), is an advanced iteration of Alenia Aeronautica’s G.222 aircraft, incorporating elements from the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules.
Alongside its standard transport configuration, the aircraft has undergone specialized adaptations for maritime patrol, search and rescue missions, C3 ISR operations (command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), fire support and ground-attack roles, as well as electronic warfare missions.
Used in the most challenging operational environments, from the high altitudes of the Andes to Afghanistan, the C-27J’s performance and operating efficiency are enabled by new avionics, featuring a glass cockpit with five multi-functional colour screens, a radar system for tactical transport missions and advanced communication systems. The C-27J can operate in complete autonomy thanks to its Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).
The C-27J boasts the largest cargo compartment in its category, capable of supporting about five tonnes per square metre and adjustable in height and inclination for easy loading and unloading. With the best descent and climb rates (4,000ft/min and 2,500 ft/min), it can perform tactical manoeuvres at 3g and is qualified for short take-off and landing (STOL) on snowy, sandy and unprepared runways.
The allocated budget for the tactical transport aircraft project has been revised. Initially set at 87,844,412 euros (VAT included), the budget has been raised to 159,030,340 euros (VAT included). This alteration reflects the decision to procure a second C-27J Spartan aircraft, building upon the success of the first aircraft acquisition.
The procurement of this aircraft aligns with the Italy-Slovenia Government-to-Government (G2G) Agreement inked by Italian Minister of Defence, Lorenzo Guerini, and Slovenian Minister of Defence, Matej Tonin, on November 17, 2021. This bilateral collaboration seeks to fortify the strategic partnership between the two nations, following the contract for the first aircraft signed on March 31, 2022. Slovenia’s decision to acquire a second C-27J Spartan aircraft underscores its dedication to maintaining a versatile and resilient defense force.