28. 11. 2023 – The Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, Marjan Šarec, and the Minister of Defence of the Italian Republic, Guido Crosetto, signed an amendment to the Implementing Agreement between the Ministry of Defence of the Italian Republic and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia on cooperation in the field of military aviation (hereinafter referred to as the Implementing Agreement), which defines the purchase of additional six Leonardo AW139M multirole helicopters, based on the Government-to-Government model.
On the basis of the amendments and modifications to the Development Programmes Plan 2023-2026 adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on 20 July this year, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has created the basis for the SAF investments as foreseen in the Resolution on the long-term programme for the development and equipping of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) until 2040. This continues the development and modernisation of the SAF in the light of contemporary security challenges, including those in the field of military aviation.
The decision to procure the AW139M multirole helicopters under the Government-to-Government model was taken on the basis of a completed and approved Investment Programme, an expert report on the demonstration of the capabilities of the multirole military helicopters and an economic benefits analysis. The choice to acquire helicopters through the Italian Government is a more economically efficient way for the Contracting Authority compared to purchasing directly from the helicopter manufacturer. It has been established that, in addition to the above-mentioned advantages (economy, cost-effectiveness), the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia has the possibility of long-term cooperation with the Italian Government and of ensuring interoperability in joint NATO projects and EU cooperation programmes. This will increase the operational efficiency of the facility, compared to a direct purchase from the helicopter manufacturer.
The signed amendment to the Implementing Arrangement provides for the purchase of six multi-purpose military helicopters for a total value of EUR 188,334,579 excluding VAT. The amount also includes the cost of certification by the Italian Military Aviation Authority. The annual project management costs of the Italian Ministry of Defence amount to EUR 425,449.
The purchase of six AW139M multi-role helicopters will provide the Slovenian Armed Forces with a state-of-the-art helicopter built to the latest safety standards. It will be used to support the operations of SAF units and the protection and rescue system. The helicopter is very powerful, fast and spacious, with room for up to 15 passengers. All helicopters will have the possibility to mount a MEDEVAC/HNMP module, which will be custom-made to fit the instruments and equipment of our medical teams. The AW139M helicopter is well suited to search and rescue (SAR) tasks, which for us also include mountain rescue. At the same time, it is also useful for firefighting, capable of dropping up to 2000 litres at a time.
The exact delivery dynamics of the AW139M helicopters will be coordinated early next year.
Source: Slovenian Ministry of Defence