The United States Coast Guard (USCG) will get 14 Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartans the United States Air Force generals don’t want. The transfer was approved on 19 December 2013, but only confirmed by aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi on 6 January 2014.
Initial flight operations commence in 6 to 12 months from now. The aircraft will be used for medium range surveillance missions such as maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue. They might even be deployed as low-cost fire-fighters if the USCG decides to deploy the easy to use Alenia designed cardboard box dropping system.
The US Coast Guard is likely to expand the Spartans capabilites with surface-search radars, electro-optical sensors and mission suites in all 14 planes prior to service entry. The US Air Force placed firm orders for 21 C-27Js – through US Alenia Aermacchi partner L-3, but then discarded them because the brass preferred the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
With the Coast Guard receiving the remainder, all aircraft stay within US military service. US Special Operations Command already announced earlier it was happy to take seven of the 21 Spartans.
Source: Alenia Aermacchi