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

  • CFM Air

    Company specialises in development and prototyping; latest known own design is the Dardo, which flew in July 2014. At that time, CFM had not decided whether to sell the project to a manufacturer or to establish its own production line.

  • CFM Air Dardo

    Type Two-seat lightplane. Programme Exhibited, unflown, at Aero '14, Friedrichshafen, April 2014. First flight (unregistered) at Turin Aeritalia aerodrome on 16 July 2014, flown by Maurizio Cheli. Design Features Intended to have widest cockpit of any Advanced Ultralight, able to accommodate

  • Martin

    Company established in 1998 to develop Jetpack exoskelitor flying vehicle inspired by-and intended to surpass-impractical 1950s projects. In December 2008, received grant of NZD968,430 from New Zealand government's Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Flight testing and fundraising was

  • Martin Jetpack

    Type Exoskelitor flying vehicle. Programme Developed, in secret, over 27 years by Mr Martin, who built 11 prototypes up to time of international debut at AirVenture, Oshkosh, 29 July 2008. Martin Model P11 (11th prototype) registered ZK-JME on 20 April 2011; on 21 May 2011, flying in UAV mode,

  • Niki

    Established in present form 2010, although first product was helicopter designed 10 years earlier, this failing to achieve production. Niki 2004 two seat autogyro project began in 2004, constructed of composites, combined with plywood and aluminium, and flight-tested (registered A21NIN) in December

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

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