Slovenian army to test, train on Pipistrel aircraft

Ajdovščina – Slovenian military pilots are to train on and test aircraft produced by the light aircraft maker Pipistrel under an agreement signed by the Defence Ministry and the Ajdovščina-based company. A special partnership has also been agreed on that includes efforts to obtain EU and NATO funds for development projects.

The agreement was signed in Ajdovščina on Tuesday by Defence Minister Matej Tonin and Pipistrel director Ivo Boscarol.

Tonin told the press on the occasion that the Slovenian Armed Forces would be testing Pipistrel aircraft to become “greener” and contribute to greater representation of the Slovenian defence industry in the national defence system.

He said the Slovenian army was modernising its fleet, which would include training aircraft for military pilots at the beginning of their careers. Currently, ten worn-out Zlin aircraft are being used for pilot training.

By using Pipistrel aircraft, the ministry also wants to send a clear message to the allies in NATO and elsewhere in the world that these aircraft are of a very good quality, and help the company be even more successful in global markets.

Tonin and Boscarol have also agreed on a special partnership under which Slovenia would attract as much EU and NATO funds as possible to develop various technologies for the defence forces.

Boscarol noted that Pipistrel aircraft were already being used by large armies, adding that the advantages of the ones that will be tested by the Slovenian army included energy economy, low noise level and safety.

He added that the company was also developing systems and aircraft for defence and surveillance from the air, and announced steps in the direction of unmanned aerial vehicles. He and Tonin today also touched on the possibility of drone defence.

The Slovenian army will test the two-seat, fully electric Valis Electro and the two-seat Virus SW 121. The plan is also that it tests the four-seat Panthera in the future.