The C-27J, new-generation medium tactical airlifter provides full interoperability with other aircrafts in service with NATO Air Forces and it is the only medium airlifter specifically designed as tactical transport aircraft, offering unique take-off and landing performances; full self-deployment operations thanks to its APU, Auxiliary Power Unit; a large cargo compartment and strong cargo floor that allows the use of NATO-standard pallets and a state-of-the art avionic and self-protection systems, in order to operate in the most difficult operational scenarios. The aircraft is capable of taking-off and landing from paved and unimproved surfaces, less than 500 metres long; of transporting up to 10 tons of materials, 62 persons in the pax configuration or 36 stretchers and 6 assistants in the medical-evacuation version.
The aircraft uses two Rolls-Royce AE2100 D2 of 4637 shp engines, the same types as those powering with of the new C-130J aircraft used by the Italian Air Force for the medium/long-range transport role, leads to clear advantages in terms of logistics and personnel training.
The C-27Js delivered to the Italian Air Force will be fitted with an advanced flight data-transmittal system, with digital map and double head-up display (HUD), a flight refuelling system, and one of self-protection (DASS – Defensive Aids Sub Systems, with radar warning receiver, missile warning, chaff -&-flares laser warning).
The aircraft has been ordered by several air forces including: Italy (12), Greece (12 aircraft, plus 3 options), Bulgaria (5 aircraft, plus 3 options), Lithuania (3 aircraft). It was also selected by Rumania (7 aircraft). In the United States, the C-27J runs for the Army’s and Air Forces’ Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program, while in Canada it is proposed for the renewal of the Search and Rescue aircraft fleet. The C-27J is also under evaluation by Australia, Ireland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and by other countries recently become NATO members, such as Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The first C-27J aircraft was delivered to the Italian Air Force on January 11, 2007. The remaining 11 will be delivered by 2008. The new C-27Js will replace the G.222s previously in service with the 46th Wing ItAF and will be used for troops, cargo, paratroopers and cargo drops, for civil protection and fire-fighting operations.