Alenia Aermacchi has signed a contract with the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the delivery of C-27J Spartan tactical airlift aircraft to the country’s air force.

Under the agreement, the company will supply two C-27J Spartan aircraft to the Slovak Air Force. Also provided will be the associated initial logistic support and the training of pilots and maintenance personnel.

The contract represents the first step of Slovak Armed Forces’ modernisation programme.

Alenia said in a statement: "The Slovak Armed Forces intend to increase their own contribution within Nato and the C-27J Spartan, thanks to its excellent capabilities in operational scenarios, is the fundamental means to assure full interoperability with other bigger-size heavy airlifters used in international coalitions."

"The Slovak Armed Forces intend to increase their own contribution within Nato and the C-27J Spartan."

Selected against Airbus Defence and Space’s C295 and the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules, the aircraft is scheduled to replace the Slovak Air Force’s ageing Antonov An-26 transport fleet, as reported by IHS Jane’s.

While the company withheld the contract value and delivery schedule, IHS Jane’s World Air Forces estimates that the deal is worth €120m and the aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2016 and 2017.

Powered by two AE 2100D3 turboshaft engines, the C-27J Spartan is a multi-mission aircraft designed to conduct cargo transportation, logistic support of military units and electronic surveillance, as well as fire fighting and search-and-rescue operations.

Around 78 aircraft have been ordered to date by a number of air forces. This includes Australia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Romania, US and an undisclosed African country, in addition to Slovakia.

Image: C-27J Spartan is scheduled to replace Slovak Air Force’s ageing Antonov An-26 fleet. Photo: courtesy of Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica Company.

Defence Technology