Slovenia welcomes first C-27J Spartan

The Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence welcomed its first C-27J Spartan to Cerklje ob Krki Air Base in southern Slovenia following its delivery from Leonardo’s facility at Turin-Caselle Airport in northern Italy on December 19.

The aircraft (L2-01, c/n 204) arrived at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base in formation with a pair of Slovenian PC-9M Swift trainer/light attack aircraft and was formally accepted by the Slovenian Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a ceremony that was held once the aircraft landed. During the ceremony, Slovenia’s Minister of Defence Marjan Šarec stressed that the C-27J acquisition provides a transport capability for the Slovenian Armed Forces that has not been available until now.

Slovenia’s first C-27J Spartan (L2-01) taxis to the flightline at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base after completing its delivery flight from Leonardo’s facility at Turin-Caselle Airport in northern Italy on December 19, 2023.
Slovenia’s first C-27J Spartan (L2-01) taxis to the flightline at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base after completing its delivery flight from Leonardo’s facility at Turin-Caselle Airport in northern Italy on December 19, 2023. Slovenian MOD

“The aircraft will not only be used by the Slovenian Armed Forces, but will also be at the service of citizens in the event of natural disasters, such as the ones we witnessed this summer,” Šarec said. “The fleet will be even richer and the Slovenian Armed Forces will have the transport capabilities it needs.”

This aircraft is the first of two C-27Js to join the Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence, with the nation having ordered a second example of the tactical transport on September 19, 2023. Slovenia ordered its first Spartan on November 18, 2021, with the type set to be used for troop/equipment transport, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), search-and-rescue (SAR) and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) missions, as well as being responsible for dropping cargo and paratroopers into the battlespace.

In January 2024, the global C-27J Spartan fleet – which now spans 17 different countries – surpassed 250,000 flight hours, marking a major operational milestone for the type.