Although the combat-proven C-27J Spartan was developed and has been operating as a successful tactical airlifter, Alenia Aermacchi − part of Finmeccanica (Stand S5-110) − is confident that it offers exceptional multimission capability in the MC-27J configuration.
Not only is the aircraft’s performance being improved, but also its operational capabilities. Besides winglets, a 10 per cent improvement in power is envisaged. The company said the MC-27J development allows for C3ISR operations, and as an armed gunship, firing missiles and precision-guided munitions.
A 30mm side-door-mounted cannon can be fitted by means of a roll-on roll-off pallet.
Equipped with specific mission sensors and equipment, it is highly suited to anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, maritime surveillance and a host of other missions. The US Coast Guard has chosen the C-27J for maritime patrol and SAR, while the US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) operates seven of the aircraft.
An electronic warfare version, designated EC-27J, has been developed for the Italian Air Force, which operated it in Afghanistan under the Jedi programme (jamming and electronic defence instrumentation). While little of this programme was divulged, it is said to be able to disrupt radio communication and remote detonators often employed for IEDs.
Alenia Aermacchi officials explained that the multimission MC-27J fits well in the UK’s future airlift force structure, sitting comfortably between Airbus A400M on the heavy/ medium airlift and Chinook.
For a possible maritime patrol aircraft application, the company envisages significantly more UK content on top of an already substantial ‘Made in Britain’ industrial contribution.
With 76 orders from 12 air forces around the world, the company argues that this underscores the focus on a flexible, affordable and lethal solution.