C-Astral to supply drones to Slovenia and Montenegro
The Slovenian and Montenegrin defence ministries have signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of military reconnaissance and aerial surveillance and monitoring, which forms the basis for a joint procurement of Belin unmanned aerial systems from the Slovenian company C-Astral.
This is Slovenia's first agreement with another country for the purchase of military arms and equipment on a government-to-government basis. It was signed by Defence Ministry State Secretary Damir Črnčec and his Montenegrin counterpart Krsto Perović in Ljubljana on 30 August.
The purpose of the agreement is to define the modalities of the implementation and the mutual rights and obligations of the two parties in the joint procurement of unmanned aerial systems.
The Slovenian Defence Ministry will procure Belin unmanned aerial systems from C-Astral on behalf of and for the account of the Montenegrin Defence Ministry, including with documentation and training provided by the supplier.
The procurement will cover the needs of the Slovenian and Montenegrin defence ministries, with the Montenegrin Defence Ministry not being a direct legal participant in the conclusion of the contract with the industrial supplier, the Slovenian Defence Ministry explained.
Črnčec said the Defence Ministry was looking forward to similar cooperation and agreements in the future. The aircraft in question are used for military purposes as well as to support "other elements of the national security system in Slovenia", he said, adding that the multi-purpose nature of the capabilities being procured was one of the ministry's key objectives.
Perović stressed that this was the first time Montenegro had procured drones and that this formed an important element in the further modernisation of the Montenegrin Armed Forces.
He thanked Slovenia for the support it has provided to Montenegro since its independence. In this context, he expressed the hope that the two countries would continue with joint procurement in the future.