The SALIS programme, managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, provides its nine participating nations with assured access to up to five AN-124 aircraft within a few days. In addition, the current contract with Antonov Logistics SALIS also provides access to AN-22, AN-225 and IL-76 Chap IV aircraft. This is the first time that the AN-225 aircraft has been used for a COVID-19 mission under the SALIS programme.
The AN-225 aircraft, called 'Mriya' ("dream" in Ukrainian) is the largest and the heaviest cargo aircraft in the world. It rose into the sky for first time in 1988 and into entered commercial service in 2001. Since then it has performed several key missions, beating 242 world records across a 30-year period. The AN-225 is part of SALIS capability since 2013 and has been mainly used by France as part of Operation Serval in Mali.