Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi is “pimping” its tactical airlifter C-27J Spartan, not only with winglets like we reported in July, but also with better Rolls-Royce engines and new avionics, our sources in Italy confirm.
The updated aircraft will be ready by 2017, according to recent plans. The aim is to increase the maximum take-off weight by about 1500 lbs (700 kg) and giving the aircraft additional climb ratio after take-off, which can be quite handy for a tactical airlifter in war situations.
Alenia Aermacchi reportedly is also working on an avionics upgrade that even current users of the C-27J could implement. Compared to the larger Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules, the C-27J Spartan is able to operate from even shorter landing and take-off strips, and with two engines is more economic to use.
The C-27J is already operated by the Italian Air Force (12 aircraft), the Hellenic Air Force (8), the Romanian Air Force (7), the Royal Moroccan Air Force (4), the Mexican Air Force (4), the Bulgarian Air Force (3), the Lithuanian Air Force (3) and the Chadian Air Force (2). Deliveries are underway or will commence to the Royal Australian Air Force (10 ordered), the Peruvian Air Force (4 ordered), the Slovak Air Force (2 ordered) and the Zambia Air Force (2 ordered). Moreover, L3 Systems in Waco is delivering seven C-27Js to the US Special Operations Command and 14 to the US Coast Guard. Taiwan is said to be interested in 6 C-27Js through the US Foreign Military Sales Program.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The MC-27J combat derivative during a test flight with winglets (Image © Best Shot Aircraft)