Slovenian Air Force
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Slovenia
Air Force


Current Title: Vojaško letalstvo in zracna obramba Slovenske vojske
Title in English: Air Force of the Slovenian Army
Abbreviation: VL ZO SV

History

Narrative Summary:
Slovenian contact with military aviation began during World War I, when the army and navy air services of Austro-Hungary conscripted large numbers of personnel from throughout the Empire. As the Empire began to collapse during 1918, Slovenian aircrew and groundcrew switched their allegiance to the newly independent Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Aircraft found on Slovenian territory where 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 (Yugoslavian) 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. At the same time Slovenians continued to play a full part in the Federal Yugoslav military forces. 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.

The modern Slovenian Air Force was first formed in mid 1991, under the title Slovenian Territorial Defence Force - Air Force Unit, with a small of number of UTVA-75 aircraft left behind by the retreating Yugoslav Armed Forces. These aircraft carried civilian markings. Shortly afterwards, some Bell 412 helicopters were delivered, to form a rotary-wing element of the force.

On 9 June 1992 the force was renamed the 15th Aviation Brigade of the Territorial Defence Force. In 1994 a batch of Zlin light aircraft was received from the Czech Republic for pilot training. The Slovenian Defence Force (Teritorialna Obramba) was renamed the Slovenian Army (Slovenska Vojska) in 1995. In 1997, the Aviation Brigade deployed aircraft outside of the country for the first time, sending two aircraft to the Mildenhall Air Fete in the UK. In 1999 the first new-build PC-9 turboprop trainers were delivered, marking a further step-up on the growing capabilities of the small air force. On 8 November 2004 the 15th Air Brigade was disbanded and its component units reorganised into the 15th Helicopter Battalion, an Aviation School and an Air Force Base.

Key Dates:
25th November 1909    First flight of Slovenian pilot Edvard Rusjan with EDA I - an aircraft of his own design and production
2 November 1918    First reconnaissance flight for Slovenia flown by pilots Mirko Plehan and Stane Rape
1919    Slovenian air operations over border province of Carinthia
late 1919    Slovenian air units absorbed into national (Yugoslav) air force
1968    Formation of Slovenian Territorial Defence Force
1969    Slovenian Territorial Defence Force HQ forms a small air component
28 June 1991    Formation of Slovenian Territorial Defence Force - Air Force Unit
June 1991    First helicopters received
9 June 1992    Official title changed to 15th Aviation Brigade of the Territorial Defence Force
1995    Slovenian Territorial Defence Force renamed Slovenian Army
8 Nov 2004    15th Aviation Brigade disbanded - new organisation introduced

Current Status:
The VL ZO SV is part of the unified armed forces. Upon Slovenia joining NATO in 2004, Italy took on responsibility for the monitoring and policing of Slovenian airspace. The VL ZO SV therefore concentrates on providing support to the army, and SAR duties. Aircraft are regularly used to support NATO peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Future Plans:
Following the delivery of four AS.532 Cougar helicopters, no other procurement plans are known.

LET L-410 L4-01 arriving at RAF Fairford
on 19 July 2002. (photo: Steven Howe)

Markings

National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
1991-1996
The first Slovenian Air Force aircraft carried only civilian registrations. For example, one of the UTVA-75 trainers was serial S5-DCA (former Yugoslav Air Force serial 53108).

1996-Present
In 1996, a new military serialling system was introduced. This comprised a two-digit serial number prefixed by a letter/number code. The letter/number code indicates the aircraft type:

Helikopterska (Helicopter):
H2   Bell 412
H3   AS.532 Cougar

Letalska (Aircraft):
L4   LET 410
L6   Pilatus PC-6
L9   Pilatus PC-9

The two-digit serial appears to belong to an overall sequence, with no duplication between aircraft types. The numbers are allocated in blocks for each aircraft type, with gaps in between to allow for future procurement. Example serials include Bell 412 H2-31 and Pilatus PC-9 L9-64. The UTVA-75s and Zlins continue to carry civil registrations.

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
Coding system not used

Bell 206B Jetranger III S5–HPK “PETER KLEPEC”
- photo taken on May 2000 in Cerklje Air Force Base.
(photo: Andrej Kogovsek)

Aircraft

Aircraft Designation System(s):
None - Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation


Main Headquarters:
Ljubljana.

Current Organisational Structure:
The Air Force of the Slovenian Army comprises a Helicopter Battalion, the Air Force Military School and an Air Force Base unit.

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle:
mid 2004

All-Time Flying Units List:
1918-1919:
Letalska Stotnija Ljubljana
Letalska Stotnija Maribor
Modern:
1992-Nov 2004:
Letalska Eskadrila - Ljubljana-Brnik
Helikopterska Eskadrila - Ljubljana-Brnik
Letalska Eskadrila - Cerklje
Helikopterska Eskadrila - Cerklje
Nov 2004-Present:
15. Helikopterska Bataljon
Letalsa Baza
Letalska Sola

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
Air bases currently used are Ljubljana-Brnik and Cerklje.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
Air bases currently used are Ljubljana-Brnik and Cerklje. There are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are often used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing

More Information

Books:

Slovenia Aviation Bibliography

Magazines:

World Air Power Journal No.8 p.22-25
World Air Power Journal No.11 p.38-41
Air Forces Monthly September 1995

Websites:

Official Slovenian Defence Ministry Website

Slovenian Aviation Website

Dragan Kostadinov Website

Ex YU Airforces

Slovenia

Thanks to Matjaz Partlic for updating this information.

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First Created: 4 January 2002 - Last Revised: 18 September 2005
Copyright © 2002 John Hayles.    e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk