Sep 4, 2014

Slovakian C-27J contract imminent

Slovakia's longstanding aim to buy new transport aircraft may soon come to fruition, with the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) announcing it hopes to sign a contract to acquire two Alenia Aermacchi C-27J by 30 September.
Slovakian Defence Ministersaid that he hoped to "finalise [a] contract for the purchase of two Spartan aircraft. Our ambition is to complete the process by 30 September".
Slovakia has long sought to buy new tactical transport aircraft to replace its aging Antonov An-24 'Coke' and An-26 'Curl' transporters. However, despite the fatal crash of an An-24 in 2006 giving the purchase urgency and the downselect of the C-27J for the requirement in December 2008, budgetary issues had stalled the acquisition by 2009. Talks with Alenia were understood to have been resumed by Slovakia in 2012, and a MC-27J was present at SIAF 2014.
According to a Slovak MoD statement, the purchase still needs approval from the Slovak Security Council and the government. The MoD noted however that the deal was an approved part of the Slovak Air Force's long-term development plan.
Slovakia and the Czech Republic had at one point considered the joint-acquisition of tactical transport aircraft. However, while the Czech Republic selected the Airbus C295 in 2008, Slovakia decided that the C295's internal dimensions were too small to suit its needs.

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