The Republic of Slovenia, together with 14 other countries, signed a Letter of Intent on the margins of the NATO Ministerial Meeting last October to join the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), which was initiated by the Federal Republic of Germany and in which 19 European countries have participated since July this year. Slovenia is the first of the 19 members of the initiative to sign a programme agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany for the purchase of an IRIS-T SLM air defence system.
In August this year, the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) Memorandum of Understanding (ESSI MOU) on the Joint Procurement of Air Defence Systems was signed, providing the basis for the establishment of a joint procurement mechanism for air defence systems. Under the Memorandum, interested countries may enter into separate programme agreements for specific projects, which will define the financial obligations, and a central procurement entity, defined in the ESSI MOU, will be empowered to execute the specific programme contracts.
The Ministry of Defence of Slovenia has thus concluded a programme agreement with the German side for cooperation in procuring IRIS-T SLM air defence system, whereby Slovenia will purchase an IRIS-T medium-range air defence system from the German manufacturer Diehl Defence GmbH.