At a press conference at the beginning of the year, Slovak Defense Minister Peter Gajdos spoke about the delivery of two C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft to the Armed Forces by Italy’s Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica) and said that for the delay in delivery of the first Spartan, which arrived during the autumn last year, Slovakia should receive a discount of 879 thousand euros.
The aircraft, a twin-engine turboprop tactical transport of the latest generation, was delivered at the end of October 2017, almost one year later than stipulated in the contract. According to the minister, compensation could be higher, since the ministry is still negotiating with the Italian company delays in logistics support. The delay will also result in a deferral of payments.
The second Spartan should be delivered in the first half of 2018, and up to now no further delays have been reported.
In 2008, the company Alenia (now incorporated in Leonardo) won a public tender for the supply of two tactical transport aircraft, but the contract was only signed in 2014. The total cost for Slovakia amounts to 69 million euros, including the training of Slovakian personnel and logistical support for five years, which alone are valued at 25 million euros.
The Spartan C-27Js acquired from Slovakia have a multifunctional role, and can be used both by the Armed Forces for the transport of troops and for the transport of wounded or the extinguishing of fires, and also to launch cargo from the air by parachute.
The Italian aircraft will replace the old Russian Antonov AN-24s which were retired a year ago. In 2006, an AN-24 had crashed in Hungary, not far from Kosice, killing 41 soldiers returning from a mission to Kosovo.