THE SLOVAK military will purchase two Italian tactical transport aircraft C-27J Spartan for, the government decided at its October 22 session. This move completes the almost six-year procurement process that began in 2008 in the wake of the crash of military aircraft An-24 close to Hungarian village Hejce in which 42 Slovaks died.
Defence Minister Martin Glváč announced that the contract on delivery of the two machines will be inked next week, the TASR newswire reported.
The Sme daily wrote that the public still does not know how much the ministry will pay for what it called the most important purchase by the Slovak army.
“It is the aircraft we need and, first of all, it is required by the army,” Glváč said, as quoted by TASR, adding that C-27Js will carry out military tasks and ensure that the Slovak army will not lose its expert capabilities following the scrapping of the An-24s.
Aside from this role, the new aircraft can be used also for domestic or international crisis management, said the minister.
The material was discussed at a closed-door session, with the purchasing price confidential. Glváč assured the public that the price is lower than that seen in the last tender, though he refused to state any figures, TASR wrote.
The resources for the purchase are allocated from the ministry’s budget.
“We will not indebt future governments,” the defence minister added, as quoted by TASR.
Slovakia will have to wait for the new aircraft, as the first C-27J is slated to be delivered in 2016 and another one year later. The Slovak Army currently uses Antonov An-26 and L-410 transporters.
Former defence minister Martin Fedor of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) said that a single fleet for both the Interior and Defence Ministries would be more efficient for the state.
“I have been promoting long-term the operation of a single unified fleet that would be more efficient for the state,” Fedor said, as quoted by TASR. “The existing two separate fleets run by the ministries do not contribute towards the streamlining of the state apparatus.
He also pointed out that the Concept of the Development of Slovak Armed Forces’ Airforce is still confidential material and thus it is not possible to evaluate the economic efficiency of the purchase in question, as reported by TASR.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Oct 2014 at 10:00