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

  • ITWL Aerial Target JET

    Type Recoverable Aerial Target. Development The ITWL Aerial Target JET was designed to provide anti-aircraft troops an aerial target for training and rocket shooting. Description Airframe Forward-shifted wings. No wheeled landing system. Mission payloads Sleeve-target system with miss

  • Cessna 800 Citation Longitude

    Type Long-range business jet. Programme Announced, and model and cabin mockup displayed, at EBACE, Geneva, Switzerland, 14 May 2012. First flight due in mid-2016; certification and service entry in late 2017. Will be built in Wichita, Kansas. Wind tunnel testing to confirm performance completed

  • Falcomposite Furio LN 27

    Type Side-by-side sportplane kitbuilt. Programme Design began April 2006; announced August 2006; first flight (ZK-LLG) 6 February 2008; public debut at Tauranga air show, 17 February. US marketing by Scion Aviation of Fort Collins, Colorado. Designed to FAR Pt 23. First FN 27 RG kit (c/n 002)

  • FMV SM3B

    Type Infrared (IR) tow target. Development Towed by a target drone; designed to avoid direct missile hit on the drone. Compatible with MQM-107B (which see), which can carry up to four individual SM3Bs at wingtips or on underwing pylons. Description Airframe Bullet-shaped pod in two parts;

  • FMV SM6

    Type Infrared (IR) tow target. Development Designed in late 1980s as a low-cost target for training with IR-guided missiles, and has since developed into a seven-version family. Description Airframe Bullet-shaped body with four sweptback tailfins indexed in X configuration. Mission payloads

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

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