State Enterprise Antonov signed a five-year contract with NATO, giving the Alliance the right to use Antonov Airlines aircraft in emergency situations. This was reported by the press service of Antonov Airlines.
"For the first time in many years of cooperation, a five-year contract has been signed on the use of Antonov's aircraft for strategic air transportation in the interests of NATO and EU countries under the strategic air transportation solution international (SALIS) program," the statement said.
Antonov has been participating in the NATO SALIS program since December 2018. The current contract is valid until December 31, 2021.
According to the agreement concluded between Antonov Logistics Salis and the NATO support and procurement agency, Antonov Airlines are obliged to provide guaranteed access to transport aircraft for emergency delivery of cargo in crisis situations (within a few days after receiving an application) or oversized cargo.
Five transport aircraft of Antonov Airlines, mainly An-124-100 Ruslan, participate in the SALIS program.
SALIS brings together nine NATO countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
On July 13, 2021, NATO deployed Mriya in the SALIS program for the emergency delivery of cargo to Namibia.
Due to the shortage of transport aircraft, the European NATO countries found it possible to attract heavy transport aircraft of the former USSR for transportation in the interests of their armed forces. The program was named SALIS (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution). It was assumed that it will become temporary until the European partners of NATO solve the problems with heavy transport aircraft. In 2003, a letter of intent was signed in Istanbul. The tender held under this program in 2004 was won by Ruslan SALIS GmbH, a joint venture between Volga-Dnipro and Antonov Airlines. In 2006 the first contract was signed.
In December 2016, at the conclusion of the next contract within the framework of SALIS, it was divided into two separate contracts, one for the old partner Ruslan SALIS GmbH, the second for the newly created representative of Antonov Airlines Antonov SALIS GmbH. 60% of the contracted flight time was given to Ruslan SALIS GmbH, 40% went to Antonov SALIS GmbH.