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

  • BlueBird Blueye®

    Type Small tactical UAV. Development BlueBird states that it has designed the Blueye® tactical UAV specifically for civilian applications, ease of transportation, quick deployment, autonomous functionality and spot take-off and landing. Again, the contractor notes that the Blueye UAS is

  • BlueBird ThunderB®

    Type Fixed-wing tactical UAV. Development BlueBird describes ThunderB® as being a 'small sized tactical UAV' that is designed for 'long [range] ISTAR or tactical mapping' applications in roles such as military support, peace keeping, low intensity conflict, security/law enforcement, SAR,

  • Insitu Integrator™

    Type Multi-role surveillance UAS. Development Insitu characterises the Integrator™ UAS as being suitable for a range of roles including agricultural/wildlife monitoring, anti-piracy patrols, asset protection, BDA, border security, communications relay, disaster response, fire-fighting,

  • Insitu RQ-21A Blackjack

    Type Small Tactical UAS (STUAS). Development Using Insitu's Integrator UAS (see separate entry) as a baseline, the RQ-21A Blackjack STUAS is designed to provide 'persistent maritime and land-based tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition data collection and dissemination

  • Aeroandina MXP-1000 Tayrona

    Type Side-by-side ultralight. Programme MXP-740/750 series evolved into MXP-800 Fantasy, which further developed as Tayrona. Design was to have been adapted by AMD of US as MXP-150 Patriot for LSA category but not proceeded with by AMD and transferred to WAC (which see); it is available (not

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

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