Tag Archives: Spartan

First US Coast Guard Spartan gets colourful

The US Coast Guard (USCG) this week accepted its first HC-27J Spartan medium range surveillance aircraft in full USCG colours. The Asset Project Office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, accepted the aircraft on 30 March.

The C-27J is one of 14 aircraft formerly in service with the US Air Force. Budget cuts forced the aircraft to be retired after only a few years of service, but the USCG was quick to snatch them up. The US Special Operations Command also took seven Spartans.

Re-delivery

After retirement from the USAF, the aircraft were stored at the US Air Force’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group  (AMARG) in Tucson, Arizona. The first Spartan destined for the USCG was re-delivered to the coast guard’s station in Elizabeth City in November 2014.

Repaint

The repaint was completed by Leading Edge Aviation Services in Fort Worth, Texas. This particular Spartan will be transferred to Air Station Sacramento, California, this summer to continue the station’s transition from the HC-130H to the C-27J.

Five Spartan aircraft have been in operation in Elizabeth City since completing the regeneration process; the Coast Guard is conducting test flights on a sixth aircraft at AMARG, where the process to bring the Spartans out of long-term preservation is completed.

Meanhwile, C-27J Spartan manufacturer Finmeccanica continues efforts to make the Spartan also Canada’s fixed wing search and rescue platform over sea.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): Smart looking Spartan (Image © USCG)

Peru in talks to triple C-27J fleet

The Peruvian Air Force has plans to triple the size of its Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan fleet. According to the Italian aircraft manufacturer’s mother company talks are ongoing for the possible purchase of 6 to 8 additional tactical airlifters of the type.

The first Peruvian Spartan at the Alenia Aermacchi facility in Turin, Italy. (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)
RELATED POST: AHF↑Inside: Spectacular Spartan for Peru

The Latin American country ordered four C-27Js already, the first and second of which were delivered this year. The third is expected to arrive before the end of the year. Apparently Peru is very happy with the aircraft’s performance and capabilities and is therefore looking for more. The news about the talks was broken by CEO Mauro Moretti of Finmeccanica, the mother company of Alenia Aermacchi.

Las Palmas Airbase near the Peruvian capital Lima saw introduction of the first new aircraft on 27 March 2015, with the C-27Js tasked to perform passenger and cargo transport, humanitarian operations, fire-fighting, medevac, airdrops and search and rescue missions.

An Alenia Aermacchi spokesperson on Friday 30 October confirmed talks are being held, but formal negotiations have still to start. The Italian company cannot confirm the number of aircraft Peru would likely order, but it is no secret the country in the past talked about a requirement of 12 Spartans.

Meanwhile Alenia Aermacchi is “pimping” its C-27J to a even better standard. Airheadsfly.com visited the C-27J production line in Italy and saw the Peruvian C-27J with our own eyes.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: Image released on 28 November 2014 of the construction of the first two C-27J for the Peruvian Air Force, manufactured by Alenia Aermacchi (Image © Oficina de Prensa del Ministerio de Defensa)

C-27J will be “pimped” substantially

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.

The C-27J in action (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)
CHECK OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF THE C-27J AIRLIFTER

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)

Baltics: training ‘on the job’

The Baltic states provided the stage again for NATO exercise BRTE on Tuesday 29 September. It’s training on the job for Hungarian Saab Gripen and German Eurofighter Typhoon crews, who are on in the Baltics foremost for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties. Finnish F-18 Hornet and Swedish Saab Gripen pilots also played are part in BRTE.

The abbreviation stands for Baltic Region Training Events, a series of military flying exercises conducted over the Baltics and Baltic Sea. The exercise is meant to keep QRA-crews on their toes. The Hungarians protect the Baltics from intruders from Šiauliai airbase in Lithuania, while the German do so from Ämari airbase in Estonia.

Today’s exercise focussed on Siauliai, with a Lithuanian C-27J Spartan simulating a loss of communications (COMLOSS) in Estonian airspace. German Eurofighter Typhoons launched to intercept and identify the transport aircraft and then hand it over to the Hungarian Saab Gripen jets, which escorted it back to Šiauliai. Also involved were a NATO Boeing E-3 AWACS and a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A Eurofighter escorts a Spartan. (Image © LAF Air Base)

(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
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(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)
(Image © LAF Air Base)

 

Red Flag for big guys

For the past two weeks, Beja airbase in Portugal was the scene of multi national exercise European Air Transport Training (EATT15), organized by European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Air Transport Command (EATC). In other words: C-27J Spartan and C-130 Hercules galore in Portugal. This is Red Flag for the big guys.

Taking part in EATT15 were Portugal, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK, as well as observer countries Brazil, the United States and Poland. Next to C-27Js and C-130s, also present at Beja were Airbus C295s and C-160 Transall aircraft. In total, 20 transport aircraft and 2,500 military personnel were involved, not counting in three Portuguese Air Force F-16s and a sole P-3C Orion.

The EATT15 aims to train and prepare the crews of tactical airlift squadrons in order to guarantee their readiness for all kinds of operations within the European alliance. The concept of the exercise is to “provide joint training and ensure interoperability among the participating forces”, said Lt. Col. Laurent Donnet, overseeing EATT15 on behalf of the Belgian Air Component.

 (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
A long way from home: a Swedish Hercules in Portugal. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
Also a long way from home, is this C295 from Finland. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
Also a long way from home, is this C295 from Finland. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
 (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
A fine study of a Alenia Aermacchi C-27J. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)

Scenarios
During the exercise, crews trained for various scenarios, such as operations to and from unprepared air strips, Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR), extraction of military and non-military elements, medical evacuations, plus air support in an urban environment and emergency situations.

The home team. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
The home team. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
(Image © Jorge Ruivo)
Blue skies surround this Spartan…. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
 (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
… and this Hercules. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)

JPADS
During EATT15, crews used the Airdrop Joint Precision System (JPADS), a US military airdrop system using GPS, an onboard computer and steerable parachutes to direct cargo to a designated impact point.

EATT15 was also about efficient use of logistics, tooling and spare parts. The proximity of similar aircraft types and their crews allowed for standardization of procedures, exchange of know-how as well as the fostering of a spirit of unity. This spirit is embraced by European Air Transport Command (EATC), the institution directing and overseeing operations of hundreds of European military transport and tanker aircraft. The latter had their own exercise earlier this year.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com guest editor Jorge Ruivo – www.cannontwo.blogspot.pt
Featured image (top): A C-130 overhead Beja in Portugal. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)

A Lithuanian Spartan. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
A Lithuanian Spartan. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
 (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
Touchdown for the Spartan. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
Flaring for landing. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
Flaring for landing. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
EATT15's final landing was on 26 June. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)
EATT15’s final landing was on 26 June. (Image © Jorge Ruivo)