Alenia nears decision on armed version of C-27J

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Alenia Aeronautica is poised to decide on the weapons fit for a proposed armed version of its C-27J Spartan tactical transport being considered by the Italian defence ministry.

First details of the so-called "Praetorian" variant of the twin-turboprop were revealed during the Paris air show in July, with the airframer offering the development to support "typical commando missions".

iai ehud air combat manoeuvring instrumentation system, iai

Credit Alenia Aeronautica

A choice will be made soon on whether to equip the C-27J with a 20mm or 30mm cannon, the airframer said, with the configuration to also incorporate an electro-optical/infrared sensor for target acquisition and tracking applications. The new variant would also be fitted with an enhanced self-protection suite, including directional infrared countermeasures equipment from Elettronica.

The Praetorian product has been developed by a combined company and defence ministry team, with the aim of satisfying Italian and export requirements. Other key elements of the design include Selex Sistemi Integrati's "FlexMis" roll-on/roll-off command, control, communication and intelligence module, plus multiple data links, satellite communications equipment and secure radios.

Alenia Aeronautica is seeking new buyers for its C-27J, which has already entered operational use in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Romania and the USA.

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