We are pleased to announce that the Slovenian Minister of Defense, Mag. Matej Tonin and the director of the Pipistrel company, Ivo Boscarol, presented their cooperation today at the Cerklje ob Krki airport, which wich took place on the basis of the signed Agreement in June.

The Slovenian Armed Forces(SAF) want to test the suitability of Pipistrel aircraft for pilot training, modernize its fleet and renovate the training system at the SAF Aviation School, so Pipistrel is supplying them with the Virus SW 121, Velis Electro and Panthera, a flight simulator and Pipistrel OPV. witch is a hybrid aircraft between classic and unmanned.

Lieutenant Colonel Tomaž Oblak, coordinator of cooperation between MORS and Pipistrel, said in his speech: “All aircraft are modernly designed and enable the implementation of the training concept, which starts with a simulator, then moves from the initial model of the aircraft to a more powerful one, and finally enables the transition to unmanned technology of the future.”

Today, the first new aircraft of Slovenian origin for the training of Virus SW 121 pilots was handed over to the SAF Aviation School for testing. The aircraft is intended for basic and further training. It is equipped with modern navigation and communication systems that allow pilot candidates to start using them from the very beginning. The construction of the aircraft enables exceptional performance at minimal cost, which reduces the cost of an hour of training to half of the current one, and according to initial estimates, the aircraft can cover up to 60% of the basic training process.

The Commander of the 15th Military Aviation Regiment, Colonel Janez Gaube, pointed out that these aircraft follow new standards and environmentally friendly technology, which is also what the SAF Air Force is striving for. In the last two years, the SAF Aviation School has noticed an increased interest in the profession of military pilot, and young people are already being trained in a new simulator, which has proven to be a suitable tool for training new pilots.

Pipistrel provides the Slovenian Army with aircraft for use and testing, and at the same time will retrain SAF instructors to fly these aircraft, as well as train military mechanics for pre-flight inspections and basic maintenance of these aircraft. The Ministry of Defense will carry out advanced testing and demonstration of the capacity and usability of Pipistrel’s aircraft for the needs of the SAF, and in return it will enable testing for Pipistrel in the area of Cerklje ob Krki and Poček airports.

Minister Tonin expressed his belief that cooperation with Pipistrel would be effective and beneficial for both sides, as this would give Pipistrel a new test site, more flight time and experience for further aircraft improvements, and the SAF would receive efficient and rational training aircraft. and military pilot training.

This move also means a shift in the Slovenian Army towards a greener defense. In his speech, Mr. Tonin also highlighted the environmental aspect, which is an increasingly common topic within NATO – what armies around the world can do to reduce their carbon footprint. “Certainly the air force is one of the major polluters and I am very pleased that the SAF will be the first in the world to use electric planes to train military pilots,” he added.

The use of Pipistrel aircraft means a reduction in fuel consumption of between 30 and 50 percent, and taking into account the use of a simulator, the savings will be even higher. At the same time, the use of these aircraft represents a significant contribution to lower noise. With the implementation of the test, the SAF is standing alongside the countries that have taken a step towards green defense commitments by using electric aircraft in the armed forces.

On this occasion, Minister Tonin also handed over the Big Coin of the Minister of Defense to Ivo Boscarol, as a sign of fruitful cooperation so far and in the future.