At the Park, a ceremony was held to solemnly mark the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the IAR-93 Vultur aircraft

31.May 2024

At the Park of Military History yesterday, May 30th, a brief ceremony was held to mark the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the IAR-93 Vultur aircraft, which enriched the museum’s collection in Pivka in 2014.

The Vultur aircraft was designed in the mid-1970s as part of the YUROM project, a collaboration between Yugoslavia and Romania. The Yugoslav Air Force had already decided in the late 1960s to develop a new attack aircraft with high subsonic speeds that could also achieve supersonic speeds under special conditions. Due to high costs, they considered partnering with an external party, and Romania emerged as an ideal partner as it was reviving its military aviation industry at the time. The result of the Yugoslav-Romanian cooperation was a high-wing, twin-engine attack aircraft of metal construction, named the Soko J-22 Orao in Yugoslavia and the IAR-93 Vultur in Romania. Together, the two countries produced over 200 units of the aircraft in various versions, with Romania phasing out the Vultur aircraft at the turn of the millennium and beginning their dismantling.

The initiative to donate one of the few remaining examples of the Romanian version of the aircraft to Slovenia came more than a decade ago from the Association of Military Pilots of All Generations and Friends of Military Aviation and the Slovenian-Romanian Business Club Triglav-Carpați. On the Slovenian side, the Military Museum of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Park of Military History actively participated in the project, with the Municipality of Pivka covering the renovation costs, and the transport company CEM-TIR donating the transport of the exhibit.

The IAR-93 Vultur 206 aircraft indirectly represents a part of Slovenian aviation history, but its arrival significantly enriched the museum’s aviation collection. This valuable museum exhibit is also an important testament to the excellent relations between Romania and the Republic of Slovenia and their good cooperation in economic, cultural, and defense fields. In preparation for the tenth anniversary of its arrival in the Republic of Slovenia, the aircraft was restored by the Military Museum of the Slovenian Armed Forces.

The ceremony was attended by a high Romanian delegation led by the Chief of the Romanian Air Force, Major General Leonard-Gabriel Baraboi, and the Romanian Ambassador, His Excellency Alexandru Grădinar. The gathered attendees were also addressed by retired Romanian General Iosif Rus, who played a crucial role in the donation ten years ago. The Slovenian Armed Forces were represented at the ceremony by Brigadier Boštjan Baš, and the Ministry of Defense by the Director of the Directorate for Military Heritage, Mag. Matjaž Ravbar. The ceremony, attended by several ambassadors and other representatives of allied countries, also featured video messages from the defense ministers of both countries, Marjan Šarec and Angel Tîlvăr.

The ceremony also emphasized the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Romania and Slovenia joining NATO, elevating their cooperation from a partnership between two friendly countries to that of allied nations.