Following the Prague Capability Commitment and Helsinki Headline Goals, NATO and EU signed (28th of June 2004) a MOU on Strategic Air Lift (Interim Solution). The objective was to establish the means by which the participants intend to close the existing gap for strategic airlift for outsized cargo.

The purpose of the strategic airlift capability is to deploy equipment for rapid deployment in support of NATO and/or EU-operations.

This MOU led to a signed SALIS-Contract between NAMSA (now NSPA) , acting on behalf of the participating nations, and RUSLAN SALIS GmbH, the Aircraft Operator (AO) based at Leipzig Airport (supported by the AO’s Volga Dnepr Airlines and Antonov Design Bureau) on the 23rd of January 2006. NSPA is the Contracting Agency for the management of the SALIS-Contract.

SALCC was established as the executive level for the overall management of the SALIS operation and manages the day to day business. Participants operate their SALIS capabilities through the SALCC.

Early 2017, two different contracts were in place instead of one, with RUSLAN SALIS GmbH (AO Volga Dnepr Airlines) and ANTONOV SALIS GmbH (AO Antonov Design Bureau).

Starting in 2019 there is only one contract with ANTONOV LOGISTICS SALIS GmbH (AO Antonov Airlines), which provides the Member Nations the same service.