What really caused Slovenia’s switcheroo?

Have you ever seen a government press release that simultaneously selects and de-selects a contractor for a weapons deal?

Not me.

But it happened in Slovenia this week in a more than unusually weird acqusition announcement for a former East Bloc Ministry of Defense.

The EADS CASA C-295 and the Alenia Aeronautica C-27J were competing for a contract in Slovenia until January 30. That’s when the MOD announced that “the decision was taken, a few days ago, to continue the procedure with the company EADS CASA, which has submitted a more acceptable offer.”

Ok, bad news for Alenia then and good news for EADS CASA. Nothing too weird about that.

But then it says:

During the time of our procedure, there was a tragic accident of the military transport airplane CASA C-295 in Poland, which is the same model as the one the ministry is considering in the procedure discussions with the EADS CASA.

In these circumstances, the Ministry of Defence has decided, in accordance with the procedural possibilities that are the part of the purchasing procedure, to stop the process of the procurement of the transport airplane for the Slovenian Amred Forces.”

In case you weren’t aware, a Polish C-295 crashed recently after the pilot tried to land in bad weather and — presumably — botched the final approach.

How an almost certainly weather-related aircraft accident provoked the MOD to de-select the C-295 for the contract the same day as the award was announced is, to put it lightly, a bit of a mystery.

Then comes the explanation in the final sentence:

The Minsitry of Defense will, because of the realistic possibility that the procurement of the tactical transport airplane would not be realized in planned timeframe, re-examine the midterm programme of development and equipment of the Slovenian Armed Forces 2007-2012 and propose the changes or modifications, if deemed necessary.

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One Response to What really caused Slovenia’s switcheroo?

  1. pengovsky 2 February, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    I guess they really needed an excuse to bail out of the deal. Also, the MOD has been getting a lot of not-so-good press lately because of a slightly fishy deal regarding Finnish-made APCs (paying deluxe prices for basic edition of the vehicle) and they didn’t really want the press and the opposition on their backs anymore than necesary.

    Having said that, the de-selection also coincides with pre-election tax-cuts the government has promised in an attempt to boost popularity which has just reached an all time low.

    But as always, they did a lousy PR job :)

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