Three European C27J nations (Bulgaria, Italy and Romania) participate in the first edition of the Balkan Spartan exercise with the aim to increase interoperability among European C27J Spartan operators. The exercise, taking place from 29 June to 8 July in Sofia, Bulgaria marks the beginning of yet another deliverable from the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership signed in 2011 by twenty Member States.
Designed by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and hosted by the Bulgarian Air Force, this first-of-its-kind flying event is aiming at promoting aircraft user type approaches to harmonise tactics, techniques and procedures as well as to develop more cost-effective solutions to operate and sustain the C27J. The objective of Balkan Spartan is to provide air crews with both academic and flight training as well as to have ground crews developing harmonised procedures to eventually allowing them to perform cross maintenance on each other’s aircraft.
This flying event was developed in the framework of the C27J cooperation concept launched in 2015 by EDA. This concept is looking at developing a far reaching level of interoperability amongst European C27J operators through a variety of projects in the areas of operations & training, logistics, airworthiness, common procurement and SESAR. In 2016 a similar working group has been created for the European C295 operators.
The main advantages of EDA’s user groups – that are working in full transparency and cooperate with all other existing user groups led by other organisations, industry and/or service providers – is to group medium and small national fleets to take advantage of economies of scale, to exchange best practices and to be more cost-efficient in operating and sustaining the aircraft.
The European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, launched in 2011 and now gathering 20 Member States (AT, BE, BG, CZ, DE, EL, ES, FI, FR, IT, LT, LU, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SE, NO and HU), aims at increasing the airlift provision in the EU, developing concrete solutions to increase the efficiency of existing and future fleets and to optimise the use of air transport organisations and structures. Other activities undertaken as part of EATF include the European Air Transport Training (EATT) and European Advanced Tactics Training Course (EAATC) events as well as the European Air Transport Symposium.
Balkan Spartan: List of participating air forces and aircraft
- Bulgaria: 1 x C27J
- Italy: 1 x C27J
- Romania: 1 x C27J
- Slovakia: Personnel included in the multinational command & control
- Observer nations: Greece, Lithuania, Australia