The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has recently introduced three new projects as part of the Plan of Development Programs 2023–2026 (NRP 2023–2026) under the budget for the Slovenian Army. These projects are essential for enhancing the capabilities and modernization of the Slovenian Armed Forces to tackle contemporary security challenges. One of the major initiatives is the acquisition of an additional tactical transport aircraft, an air defense system, six multi-purpose transport helicopters, and 106 wheeled combat vehicles. This move is aimed at building a medium battalion group and a reconnaissance battalion, which aligns with the Resolution on the long-term development and equipping program of the Slovenian Armed Forces until 2040. The completion of the 8×8 wheeled combat vehicle project marked a significant milestone, with the acquisition of 45 Boxer vehicles valued at 412,005,990 euros, including VAT.
The main objective of the “Combat wheeled vehicles for the construction of medium forces of the Slovenian Army” project is to equip the Slovenian Army with fully equipped combat wheeled vehicles, armed with advanced weapon systems. These vehicles will empower the medium forces to carry out their missions effectively, meet the requirements of allied documents, and enhance the nation’s and collective defense capabilities within the framework of NATO. The project aims to construct two vital combat capabilities simultaneously: the medium infantry battalion, which forms the core of the medium battalion group, and the medium combat reconnaissance battalion. By following the government’s decision to save at least 400 million euros in capacity building, the project offers cost-effective solutions compared to previous plans, resulting in savings of approximately 498 million euros, including VAT, over the lifetime of the vehicles (30 years).
Additionally, the tactical transport aircraft project has undergone changes, increasing its starting value from 87,844,412 euros to 159,030,340 euros, including VAT. This adjustment is due to the decision to acquire an additional Spartan C-27J aircraft of the same configuration as the first one. This move ensures operational availability and addresses potential gaps when the first aircraft undergoes technical maintenance. Furthermore, the development plan includes the “Land Air Defense System” project, aimed at establishing an operational capacity to protect Slovenia’s airspace and the forces of the Slovenian Armed Forces at home and abroad, in line with the alliance’s requirements. The project seeks to create an optimal configuration of medium, short, and very short-range capabilities, forming a unified formation structure within Slovenia’s air defense system. The initial value of this project stands at 200,000,000 euros, including VAT.
Lastly, the “Multipurpose Military Helicopter” project aims to enhance the vertical mobility of Slovenian Army units, provide support for special operations, enable light helicopter transport, and conduct rescue missions using the combat search and rescue method. The procurement of six multi-purpose military helicopters, with a starting value of 195,200,000 euros, including VAT, is planned from 2023 to 2027. These helicopters will significantly improve the operational readiness and availability of the Slovenian Army’s helicopter fleet, serving both military tasks and dual civilian purposes. In conclusion, Slovenia’s defense procurement plans reflect its commitment to modernize and strengthen the capabilities of the Slovenian Armed Forces, enabling them to respond effectively to contemporary security challenges while fostering cooperation within NATO and enhancing the country’s national defense.