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Slovenia revises defense buy plan amid “modern security challenges”

Spartan C-27J Slovenia
Photo: Slovenian defense ministry of a Spartan transporter

The Slovenian defense ministry will be buying new multi-purpose helicopters, mid-range air defense systems and an additional transport aircraft as part of its revised defense procurement program between 2023 and 2026.

The country’s “tactical transport aircraft” project will grow from a starting value of 87.8 euros to 159 million euros to accommodate another Spartan C-27J under the third amendment to the contract between the defense ministries of Italy and Slovenia. The second aircraft will provide capacity availability and fill gaps in cases where the first aircraft is unavailable due to technical maintenance.

Another big ticket item is a fast-paced purchase of a land-based medium range air defense system “for the needs of protecting the airspace over the territory of the Republic of Slovenia and the forces of the Slovenian Armed Forces operating at home and abroad within the framework of the (NATO) alliance.”

Slovenia intends to invest 200 million euros for the procurement of a single medium-range air defense battery.

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Slovenia’s defense minister revealed that the country is in talks for a potential purchase of German-developed IRIS-T air defense systems, which also generated interest in Estonia and Latvia after it was delivered to Ukraine as part of Germany’s support for Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion.

It is worth noting that Slovenia is already part of the German-led “European Sky Shield Initiative,” which aims to create a European air defense system through the common acquisition of air defense equipment and missiles by European nations.

Aside from new air defense systems, Slovenia is launching the procurement of a new multipurpose military helicopter as a replacement for the existing fleet of Bell 412 helicopters.

In the next three years, the country plans to buy six multipurpose helicopters, with additional purchases planned after 2028.

The new capability is expected to be capable of supporting a special operations unit, performing light helicopter transport and combat search and rescue tasks. The starting value of the helicopter project is 195.2 million euros.

In addition to the new purchases, the defense ministry also shed light on the cost savings that will come from scrapping the deal for the purchase of 45 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and opting for an alternative solution.

While the alternative platform is yet to be identified, the Slovenian defense ministry estimates it will save 498 million euros by picking and off-the-shelf solution and reducing the original number of 136 vehicles that were to be bought to 106.