Slovenia has advanced its military capabilities through an agreement with Italy, as defence ministers Marjan Šarec and Guido Crosetto formalise the purchase of six AW139M multi-role helicopters.

The move aligns with Slovenia’s commitment to modernising its armed forces and enhancing operational efficiency.

In a step towards bolstering its military, Slovenia, represented by Minister of Defence Marjan Šarec, has agreed with Italy to acquire six AW139M multi-role helicopters. The agreement, signed with Italian defence minister Guido Crosetto, is an amendment to the implementing agreement on military aviation cooperation between the two nations.

This decision, made under the government-to-government model, follows evaluations, including an approved investment programme, a report on helicopter capabilities, and an economic benefits analysis.

Opting for procurement through the Italian Government is economically efficient and also opens avenues for long-term cooperation, fostering interoperability in joint NATO projects and EU cooperation programmes.

Slovenia and Italy recently solidified their defence collaboration by acquiring a second C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraftLeonardo has also played a role, signing a purchase contract to supply the Slovenian Defence Ministry with the aircraft and associated logistics and training services. 

The six AW139M helicopters have a total value of EUR 188m, excluding VAT. Designed to the latest safety standards, these helicopters intend to offer versatility, accommodating up to 15 passengers and supporting operations of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF). The fleet’s capabilities extend to search, rescue, mountain, firefighting, and medical evacuation.

Apart from their features, the delivery of the AW139M helicopters marks a milestone in ensuring operational efficiency for the SAF. The signed amendment to the implementing arrangement solidifies the acquisition and enhances the SAF’s capabilities in response to contemporary security challenges.

The helicopter’s exact delivery timeline is expected to be coordinated early next year.

According to GlobalData’s “Slovenia Defense Market 2023-2028” report, the Slovenian defence industry provides an attractive investment opportunity for foreign investors due to the country’s low production costs, especially in the manufacture of tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery, ships, aircraft, and helicopters.