The multinational airlift consortium is chartering six Antonov An-124-100 transport aircraft, which are capable of handling ‘outsize’ (unusually large) cargo.
The Russian and Ukrainian Antonov aircraft are being used as an interim solution to meet shortfalls in the Alliance’s strategic airlift capabilities, pending deliveries of Airbus A400M aircraft. This is why the project is called Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS).
The consortium includes 12 NATO nations (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom) and two partner nations (Finland and Sweden).
This is one of two complementary initiatives aimed at providing NATO with strategic airlift capabilities. The other is the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), under which ten NATO countries plus two partner countries have purchased three Boeing C-17 transport aircraft.