Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence
|Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence Brigade
Brigada zračne obrambe in letalstva Slovenske vojske
the identification flag
|Branch||Air Force and Air Defense|
|Role||Defending the sovereignty of the Slovenian air space|
|Part of||Slovenian Army|
|Command HQ||Cerklje ob Krki, Brežice|
|Engagements||Slovenian War of Independence|
|Lieutenant Colonel Igor Strojin|
|Attack||Pilatus PC-9M Hudournik|
|Trainer||Zlin Z-143, Zlin Z 242|
|Transport||Pilatus PC-6 Porter
Let L-410 Turbolet, C-17 GM III (part of NATO SAC)
Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence is a part of the Slovenian Armed Forces. It is an integral part of the command structure, not an independent branch.
Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence aim is securing sovereignty of the air space of the Republic of Slovenia (fighter aircraft for Air Policing are provided by NATO (Italian Air Force)) and providing air support to other services in implementation of their tasks in joint operations. Its main tasks are:
- Inspection and control of the air space security
- Providing help in natural, humanitarian and technological disasters
- Search and rescue operations
- Taking part in international missions and operations
Slovenian contact with military aviation began during World War I, when the army and navy air services of Austria-Hungary conscripted large numbers of personnel from throughout the Empire. As the Empire began to collapse during 1918, Slovenian aircrew and ground crew switched their allegiance to the newly independent Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Aircraft found on Slovenian territory were taken over by the Slovenian authorities and formed into a fledgling air arm. The new air arm was soon involved in the conflict with Austria over the border provinces of Carinthia and south Styria. Later in 1919, the Slovenian air units were absorbed into the national Yugoslavia air force. In 1968 a reserve volunteer force, the Teritorialna Obramba (Territorial Defence of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia), was established to defend local key locations in time of crisis. The Slovenian Territorial Defence HQ had a small auxiliary aviation unit stationed at Ljubljana-Polje airfield by 1969, when Government Factories Type 522 advanced trainers were being operated. These aircraft were borrowed from the Yugoslav Air Force and not owned by Slovenia. Slovenian Territorial Defence ceased to be a part of the Yugoslavian auxiliary forces on 21 June 1991, (four days prior of the proclamation of independence), when the Yugoslav army seized 12 Soko J-20 Kraguj aircraft from them. On 28 June 1991 a Yugoslav Air Force Gazelle defected to Slovenia, providing the first helicopter for the Territorial Defence Force. During the war it also was equipped with three ex-Police Bell 412s and an Agusta A-109. On 9 June 1992 the Air Force Unit of the Slovenian Army was renamed into 15 Brigada Vojaskega Letalstva. The 15 Brigada was divided into two squadrons, one fixed-wing and one helicopter squadron, flying from two bases, Brnik airport and Cerklje ob Krki. The 15 Brigada was under control of the 1 Air Force and Air Defence Force Command located at Kranj. On 2004 Slovenia entered NATO. Now NATO is responsible for protecting Slovenian airspace. On 8 November 2004 the 15 Brigada was officially disbanded. In its place three new units were formed.
The 15 Air Force Brigade was restructured into the 15 Helicopter Battalion, the Air Force School, and the Air Force Base. The 15 Helicopter Battalion is located at the Brnik air base. The unit is equipped with eight Bell 412 helicopters and four AS-532 Cougar helicopters. The units main duties are to organise training courses for pilots and technical staff, to organise search and rescue missions and operate within the System of Civil Protection, Help and Rescue, to secure cargo transportation to mountain areas, to extinguish fires, and to provide air support for SAF units.
The Air Force Military School is located at the Cerklje ob Krki air base. The school conducts the basic and advance training programmes for future air force pilots in two Zlin 143L and eight Zlin 242L planes and four Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopters, organises practices for air force pilots, provides fire support, and carries out various tasks for other branches of the armed forces by using the two PC-9 and nine PC-9M planes. A part of the Air Force Military School is also the parachute squad, located at the Brnik air base, which organises basic and advanced parachute training for SAF members. The Air Force Base, located at the Cerklje ob Krki air base, carries out logistic support, such as fuel supply. The unit is equipped with two PC-6 planes and one L-410 plane. The Air Force Base unites the air supply squad and the technical support unit whose main tasks are to plan and conduct the second stage of aircraft maintenance, carry out technical personnel training, update aircraft documentation, etc. Although the airborne part of the SAF only exists for fifteen years, it has adapted itself constantly to the changing world. In this light another restructuring is due in 2007 when the Air Force School and the 15 Helicopter Battalion will be subordinated to a single command making logistics easier, and reduce staff. Following the decision to operate jet aircraft from 2015 again, major restructuring will take place at Cerklje.
Due to new reorganization of the Slovenian Armed Forces, the Air Defense and Aviation Brigade will be reconstructed to the 15th Wing (Military Aviation Regiment). The Wing will consist of 151st Rotary Wing Squadron, 152nd Fixed Wing Squadron, 153rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 16th Air Space Control and Surveillance Centre, 107th Air Base and Flight School. Air Defense elements will be moved to Ground Forces.
Battalions (former organization)
(helicopter battalion / battalion of air transport)
|1. and 2.hel unit B 412
3.hel unit AS 532
Eurocopter AS 532
(air transport section)
Let L-410 Turbolet
|Cerklje ob Krki Airbase|
|1,2 and 3 section of armed school military aircraft PC 9
||Pilatus PC-9||Cerklje ob Krki Airbase|
|1,2 and 3 section of school military aircraft and school helicopters
||Zlín Z 142
Zlín Z 242
|Cerklje ob Krki Airbase|
(Air Defense Battalion)
(Command-Air Defense logistics battery)
(light portable air defense rocket battery)
|SA-7 Grail (Strela-2M)
SA-16 Gimlet (Igla-1)
SA-18 Grouse (Igla)
(light air-defense self droven battery)
9K31 Strela-1 (Strela-1M)
|Cerklje ob Krki Airbase|
(rocket air defense battery)
(Battalion for the control of airspace)
|ASOC (Air Sovereignty Operational Centre)||AN/TPS 70
(Center for Control of airspace)
|- ASOC (Air Sovereignty Operational Centre)
- Frequentis Comm Sys
|Ljubljana top at Vrhnika
Kogel glaciers at Pohorje
|2x AN/TPS 70||Vrhnika
Cerklje ob Krki Airbase
|Pilatus PC-9M Hudournik||Switzerland||turboprop trainer/ground attack||PC-9M||11|
|Zlin Z 242||Czech Republic||basic trainer||Z 242 L||8|
|Transport and Utility Helicopters|
|Bell 206|| United States
||utility helicopter||206B-3 JetRanger III||4|
|Bell 412|| United States
|Eurocopter AS 532AL Cougar||France||utility helicopter||AS 532 UL/AL||4|
|Transport and Liaison Aircraft|
|Pilatus PC-6 Porter||Switzerland||transport||2|
|Let L-410 Turbolet||Czech Republic||transport||1|
|Dassault Falcon 2000EX||France||VIP transport and MEDEVAC||1|
|UTVA-75||Yugoslavia||basic trainer||14||Left over by the YPA when Slovenia declared independence in 1991. Retired and sold or given to civil aeroclubs. One crashed in 1993, one in 2009.|
|Utva 66||Yugoslavia||trainer||1||Left by YPA. Retired and sold.|
|Soko 522||Yugoslavia||trainer/attack fighter||1||Retired.|
|Zlin Z-526||Czechoslovakia||trainer||1||Left by YPA. Retired and sold.|
|Transport and Utility Helicopters|
|SOKO SA 341 Gazelle||Yugoslavia||transport||1||Defected from YPA during the Ten-Day War, now retired. The archive photo to the left shows the sole Slovenian military Gazelle in the TO-001 VELENJE paint scheme.|
|Agusta AW109||Italy||fast VIP transport||A109A Mk II||1||Retired in 1996 and sold.|
|North American F-86D||United States||attack fighter||F-86D||2||Left by YPA when Slovenia declared independence. Not used during the Ten-Day War due to being obsolete. Now retired. At least one survives on public display.|
|Republic F-84G||United States||attack fighter||F-84G||1||Retired. One on public display in Maribor.|
Former Air Defense Systems
- 9x Roland II SAM (in reserve because of lack of financial resources)
- Igla MANPADS and Strelets Systems (now in use by Ground Forces)
- Strela 2M MANPADS
- 6x Strela 1M
- 12x BOV 3
- 12x ZSU-57-2
- 12x M53/59 Praga
Acquisition of new Aircraft
The Slovenian Ministry of Defense tested the EADS CASA C-295 and the C-27J Spartan in Cerklje AFB in 2007. Two Casa C-295's were chosen with the first one to be delivered in 2008 and the second in 2010. The first aircraft was ordered in January 2008, but in February the aircraft order was frozen, because of the Mirosławiec air accident in Poland. Due to the financial crisis now there is no near term plan for acquisition of new transport aircraft.
Incidents and Accidents
 In 1993 a UTVA-75 crashed in Slovenj Gradec. The plane was repaired. In 1994 a Let L-410 Turbolet hit HT wires on landing in Brnik. It was later repaired. In 2004 a Pilatus PC-9 crashed in Lenart, resulting in the death of maj. Drago Svetina. In 2008 a pilot candidate ejected from a Pilatus PC-9, the plane was not damaged and returned safely at Cerklje ob Krki Airbase.
- 1x SOKO SA 341 Gazelle over Ljubljana (Slovenian pilot Toni Mrlak in YPA dead). Helicopter carried bread to the surrounded Federal barracks.
- 2x Mil Mi-8 one developed mechanical problems near Radenci, it was forced to land, captured, and later returned to YPA. The other was shot down in Ljubljana Ig ( all crew dead ).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air force of Slovenia.|
- "L'A.M. assicura lo spazio aereo albanese" (in Italian). Retrieved 20 September 2011. "L’Aeronautica Militare assicura già dal 2007, con i propri velivoli, l’"Air Policing" dello spazio aereo sloveno. (The Italian Air Force enforces with its aircraft the "Air Policing" over the Slovenian skies since 2007.)"
- ŠTAB | varnost vs. konflikt » Brigada zračne obrambe in letalstva
- "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
- Slovenian military aviation OrBat
- "Air Forces Losses in rest of ex-Yugoslav Republics since 1991". YuAirWar.com. "During 1991 former Yugoslavia fell apart in civil war so rest of their Republics start forming their own Air Forces. With this list for first time are publicly revealed Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian and Herzegovina, and Macedonian aircraft losses"
- Insignia magazine, Volume 1, issue 2, March 1996