Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, has delivered today to the Italian Air Force the first of twelve C-27J tactical airlifters ordered in the advanced configuration specifically required by the ItAF. The whole fleet will be delivered by 2008.
The new C-27Js will replace the G.222s previously in service with the 46th Wing ItAF and will be used for troops, cargo, paratroopers and cargo drops, for civil protection and fire-fighting operations.
The C-27J represents the most advanced new-generation medium tactical airlifter on the market. It is the only aircraft of its category capable of full interoperability with other aircrafts in service with NATO Air Forces and it is the only medium airlifter specifically designed as tactical transport aircraft, offering unique take-off and landing performances; full self-deployment operations thanks to its APU, Auxiliary Power Unit; a large cargo compartment and strong cargo floor that allows the use of NATO-standard pallets and a state-of-the art avionic and self-protection systems, in order to operate in the most difficult operational scenarios.
The aircraft is capable of taking-off and landing from paved and unimproved surfaces, less than 500 metres long; of transporting up to 10 tons of materials, 62 persons in the pax configuration or 36 stretchers and 6 assistants in the medical-evacuation version.
Furthermore, the use of the same Rolls-Royce AE2100 D2 of 4637 shp engines of the C-130J, aircraft used by the Italian Air Force for the medium/long-range transport role, leads to clear advantages in terms of logistics and personnel training.
With respect to the basic version, the C-27Js for ItAF envisage important additional equipment which improves operational capability and safety in out-of-area operations. Worth citing: an advanced flight data-transmittal system, with digital map and double head-up display (HUD), a flight refuelling system, and one of self-protection (DASS – Defensive Aids Sub Systems, with radar warning receiver, missile warning, chaff -&-flares laser warning).
In addition to the Italian Air Force, the aircraft has already been ordered so far by Greek Air Force (12 aircraft, plus 3 options), by the Bulgarian Air Force (5 aircraft, plus 3 options), by the Lithuanian Air Force (3 aircraft), and it has also been selected by Romania (7 aircraft).
In the United States, the C-27J runs for the, Army’s and Air Forces’ JCA, Joint Cargo Aircraft program, while in Canada it is proposed for the renewal of the Search and Rescue aircraft fleet. The C-27J is also under evaluation by Australia, Ireland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and by other countries recently become NATO members, such as Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Alenia Aeronautica: the First C-27J Delivered to the Italian Air Force