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

  • Antonov An-32

    Type Medium transport. Programme Prototype (SSSR-83966, converted An-26) first flew on 16 July 1976. In late 1976 the prototype was re-engined with AI-20DM engines. Further three pre-series aircraft completed by October 1982 at Aviant Plant (KiGAZ) in Kiev. Began state acceptance tests at

  • Altavian Nova F6500

    Type Multi-purpose fixed-wing UAV. Development Altavian was established in 2011 and describes the Nova F6500 AV as being designed for data collection in natural resource/conservation, construction/infrastructure, agriculture and inspection/monitoring applications. Again, the AV is described as

  • MAVinci Sirius

    Type Fixed-wing survey UAV. Development MAVinci characterises the Sirius AV as being an 'orthophoto' platform that is suitable for the 'documentation and representation' of urban areas, construction sites, disaster areas and areas of crop/forest damage together with the surveying of

  • Aero Surveillance AS 450

    Type High-endurance multi-role UAV. Development The AS 450 high-endurance multi-role UAV is the result of a technical and marketing partnership between Aero Surveillance and Norwegian contractor Robot Aviation AS which was announced during June 2014. As such, Aero Surveillance describes the AS

  • Aero Surveillance AS 50 EC

    Type Fixed-wing surveillance UAV. Development Aero Surveillance characterises the AS 50 EC as being a 'small tactical UAV' that is suitable for applications such as military ISR, convoy protection, oil/gas infrastructure monitoring, environmental monitoring, agricultural support and

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

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