Three European C-27J Spartan operators (Bulgaria, Italy and Romania) are participating in the first edition of the Balkan Spartan exercise aimed at increasing interoperability. The exercise, taking place from 29th June to 8th July in Sofia, Bulgaria, is organized under the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership signed in 2011 by twenty Member States of the European Defence Agency (EDA).
Designed by the 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 C-27J. 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 allow them to perform cross maintenance on each other’s aircraft.
The event was developed in the framework of the C-27J cooperation concept launched in 2015 by EDA. This concept aims to develop interoperability amongst European C-27J operators through a variety of projects in the areas of operations & training, logistics, airworthiness, common procurement and SESAR. In 2016 a similar working group was created for the European C295 operators.
The main advantages of EDA’s user groups 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.