Air Platforms

Maiden flight for MC-27J gunship

27 April 2014
The first fully configured MC-27J Spartan gunship making its maiden flight from Alenia Aermacchi's Turin Test Flight Centre in Italy. Source: Alenia Aermacchi

The first fully configured Alenia Aermacchi MC-27J Spartan gunship has made its maiden flight from the company's Turin Test Flight Centre, it was announced on 25 April.

The aircraft was flown with a chin-mounted L-3 Wescam MX-15HD electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret, and with Link-16 datalink software and hardware provisions to prepare the aircraft for installation of the ATK palletised mission system. Provisions for an upgraded Selex ES communication system have also been built into the aircraft.

According to Alenia, installation of both the ATK developed modular/palletised roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) mission and weapon system and a modified side door for the GAU-23 30 mm cannon installation will be completed in May. This will be followed in June by the completion of the current round of flight trials, which has included firing the cannon.

Aside from the gun, Alenia is also looking to integrate precision-guided munitions such as the MBDA US Viper Strike and Raytheon Griffon, as well as other systems being developed by ATK. These will be carried on underwing hardpoints or internally located launch tubes.

Launched at the Farnborough Airshow in 2012, the MC-27J is a special mission variant of the C-27J tactical transport aircraft that will enable operators to quickly change the aircraft's set-up from gunship and command and control to basic transport for multiple missions.

Italy was signed up as the launch customer at the Dubai Airshow in November 2013, with an initial three C-27J Spartan transport aircraft to be modified to accept the palletised gunship kits by the end of 2016. A further three C-27Js will be converted and delivered back to the Italian Air Force in the same time frame.

Separately, the seven C-27J transport aircraft that the US Air Force is to hand over to the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) might also be configured to the MC-27J standard. Although no programme of record for this currently exists, Alenia has said it has briefed AFSOC on the capabilities of the MC-27J.

Previously, Alenia has identified a possible market beyond Italy for 50 aircraft that encompasses current and potential C-27 users in the Middle East, South America, and the Far East.



(356 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • Adcom Systems United 40 Block 5

    Type Strategic MALE UAV. Development Adcom Systems characterises the United 40 Block 5 as being a strategic MALE UAV that is suitable for a range of applications including near real-time combat assessment, battle damage assessment, intelligence preparation of the battlefield, special operations

  • Adcom Systems Yabhon-H

    Type Tactical UAV. Development Adcom Systems characterises the Yabhon-H tactical UAV as being optimised for 'efficient cruise'; as offering 'good' resistance to turbulence, 'hands-off' stability and 'docile' stall characteristics and as having an 'excellent' climb rate (10 m/s (33 ft/s) at sea

  • AeroVironment Wasp AE

    Type Fixed-wing micro UAV. Development AeroVironment describes the WASP AE as being the 'all environment' version of the contractor's Wasp III platform (see separate entry) and as incorporating 'special design considerations' to facilitate maritime and land operations. Key programme events

  • Cessna 207 - Soloy Turbine Pac

    Type Light aircraft turbine upgrade. Programme FAA STC-certified on wheels and on PK floats. Initial certification in early 1986, utilises Soloy Turbine Pac power plant based on Rolls-Royce 250-C20 turbine driving Soloy-manufactured gearbox with output to propeller. A maximum gross weight

  • UAV Factory Electric Penguin BE

    Type Electrically powered mini UAV. Development IHS Jane's first became aware of the Electric Penguin BE mini UAV during November 2013. As such, it is described as being an electric version of UAV Factory's Penguin B AV (which see); as being designed for short duration missions and as offering

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT