When Sikorsky (part of Lockheed Martin) took over the PZL-Mielec company in Poland, it acquired a twin transport design that o ffers unique airlift capability, particularly for rough- and short- field operations. The M28 can haul a 5,070lb/2,300kg payload from a 1,800 /548m strip, and is as at home operating from grass or gravel as it is from tarmac.
Among the key features of the M28 is its rear loading door, which not only allows bulky cargo to be admitted to the capacious cabin, but also permits the air-dropping of cargo or troops. The cabin can be recon figured in minutes with airliner-style or paratroop-style seating, stretchers or freight.
Freight loading is aided by two ceiling-mounted rails that mount a cargo hoist with a 700kg capacity.
Bulky freight can be raised into the cabin with the hoist and positioned forward or a as required. Since 2008, the M28 has been operated by US Special Operations Command (designated C-145).
The most recent delivery to a military customer was in December, when the Royal Jordanian Air Force received its second M28, the first having been handed over at the end of 2014.
Sikorsky envisages considerable demand for this type of aircraft in the region, especially as border security operations in remote areas increase in importance.