C-27J Spartan Sheds its Skin to Reach new Performance Heights


Testing has begun on the C-27J Next Generation which features new equipment, a new avionics system and advanced aerodynamic devices, these will enhance the existing high performance of the aircraft. The first C-27J in the new configuration will be delivered to an undisclosed customer in 2021.

The performance and reliability of the C-27J Spartan continues to evolve as the best response to its customers’ needs. Pushing on the aircraft’s versatility and mission flexibility, the C-27J offers an ever-increasing range of mission solutions, which adapt in response to new challenges faced by operators. A true force enabler, its unrivalled multi-mission capabilities are key in presenting the latest evolution of the Spartan as a cost-effective solution and an intelligent investment for nations, which are selecting it for their military, as well as civil protection requirements.

Marco Zoff, Leonardo Aircraft Division’s Managing Director, said: “The enhanced C-27J brings the unrivalled quality and capabilities of the Spartan to the next, higher level. Its operators will benefit from modern avionics, increased performance and efficiency. The Spartan embodies the essence of national security, proving to be the best asset for armed forces’ defence operations and for their fundamental contribution to population support and disaster relief.” In a world hit this year by the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies international media have extensively reported on the C-27J’s relentless and effective support to communities in need. Mr Zoff also added: “Our customers have discovered in this aircraft an element of social inclusion because it is the only aircraft capable to reach people in the most remote rural areas of their nations.”

Already acknowledged as the most effective multi-mission military transport aircraft in its class, the C-27J Next Generation today features comprehensive new avionics and aerodynamic developments with new winglets, for improved operational efficiency and even better performance. Mission-proven across all continents with a number of prime air forces, the Spartan is operated in the world’s most demanding operational environments - from the Andes to Afghanistan - for military transport, cargo and paratroopers airdrop, last tactical mile troop support, special operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The brand-new avionics system of the C-27J Next Generation is designed to comply with Next Generation Air Traffic Control requirements, including FANS 1/A+ datalink; TCAS 7.1; ILS Cat.II; enhanced video TAWS. New cockpit displays; new weather radar; new radio navigation; enhanced satellite communications and radio communication capabilities; new intercommunication system; new cockpit and cargo panels; Mode 5 IFF/ADS-B out and tactical VNAV and Search and Rescue; lighting system with LED technology have also been included. Moreover, former avionics and general systems interface boxes have been replaced with new equipment by Leonardo’s Electronics. The new baseline configuration is also offered as a retrofit to current operators wanting to upgrade their C-27J fleet capabilities.

Thanks to its exceptional structural strength and systems redundancy, the C-27J offers unique qualities of ruggedness, reliability, outstanding survivability and manoeuvrability. Its capability to operate from the most rudimentary airstrips, performing short take-offs and landings (STOL) in extreme environmental conditions is enhanced by the winglets, while Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) provides an independent power source, which can restart engines in flight, or make the aircraft autonomous and self-reliable during deployment missions at improvised airfields.

The aircraft can be equipped with a Defensive Aids Sub-Systems suite, secure communications and ballistic protection in order to operate in high threat environments.

Thanks to its multiple roll-on/roll-off mission kits and systems, the C-27J can be quickly configured and reconfigured to carry out a wide range of tasks, including a tactical transport, maritime patrol, even incorporating ASW or C3ISR tasks. As a tactical transport aircraft, its capabilities include transport of troops, cargo, paratroops and cargo airdrop, Medevac/Casevac, VIP, but can also carry out operations of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and fire-fighting, thanks to its fast operational reconfiguration.

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