A tactical transport aircraft is today a real force-multiplier as it can enable many different operations in the new asymmetric scenario. War against terrorism, tactical support for the frontline troops and humanitarian/natural disaster relief missions operating from short/unpaved strips are new requirements that very few aircraft are able to accomplish.
In the medium tactical transport sector, when the word “tactical” is a true requirement, the only answer is: Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan.
With a total of 83 aircraft ordered by eight air forces, the C-27J is combat proven in Afghanistan with Italian, Lithuanian and U.S. Air Force. It has notched up hundreds of flying hours, with operations on unpaved strips, in hot environment and high altitude, in all weather conditions, with performances far better than the ones accomplished by its competitor. The difference is so great that it is easy to say that there is only one real, purpose-designed, medium tactical transport aircraft available on the market.
With its outstanding rate of climb, high G ma noeuvrability and inherent rugged design, the C-27J has been designed to operate from any type of unpaved strip, including sand, gravel and grass. The addition of the In-Flight-Refuel- ling capability, Heads-Up Display or helmet-mounted display, Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS), On Board Inert Gas Generating System (OBIGGS), SATCOM and ballistic protection for the crews has made this aircraft completely prepared to accomplish a wide variety of tactical missions, from humanitarian support to deep insertion of special forces.
The visibility from the cockpit is excellent. There are 16 windows in the cockpit and two dedicated wide windows in the cargo area for extra observers. This is a very important feature also for operations in potentially security-concerned environments. Being able to look around effectively is the first “active” defence against ground-to-air threats.
The Spartan is very easy to fly – all systems are redundant to ensure maximum survivability, the cockpit allows unmatched situational awareness and the aircraft can accomplish airlift missions with unrivalled tactical performance.
The C-27J is also equipped with the OBIGGS (On Board Inert Gas Generating System), a protection system designed to prevent fuel tanks from exploding if hit by enemy fire and has an APU that not only guarantees the total self-deployment of the aircraft everywhere, but also enhances the safety in flying, allowing easy restart of engines or the supply of energy for the on-board systems.
Produced by Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, the C-27J is a new aircraft, with new systems, new capabilities, and improved “survivability”. These are extremely important characteristics for such type of aircraft. The new emerging scenarios increasingly require the use of tactical air transport to effectively survive hostile environments. The C-27J has built-in capabilities to perform missions in highly demanding war scenarios.