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.
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.
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)