Mexican air force to get four C-27J transports

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Mexico has ordered four C-27J Spartan transports for its air force, making it the first Latin American nation to select the Alenia Aeronautica-built type.

The Mexican air force signed a contract worth about $200 million on 6 July, with the Finmeccanica company to start deliveries within a little over two months. "The first aircraft will be in Mexico City before the military parade on 16 September, and the whole supply will be completed by the end of 2012," it said.

The new deal also includes the provision of logistics support for the fleet "for several years", Alenia Aeronautica said in a statement.

 
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Mexico's air force could employ its new aircraft in roles such as troop and equipment transport, paratroop delivery, medical evacuation, search and rescue and homeland defence, the manufacturer said. The Spartan has a maximum take-off weight of 31,800kg (70,100lb), including a payload of up to 11,100kg, or can carry up to 60 personnel.

The selection of the C-27J follows Mexico's previous acquisition of the rival Airbus Military C-295, also for transport applications. The service has so far received four of the type from a five-unit order, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.

Other customers for the C-27J include Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Morocco, Romania, the USA and Slovakia. Firm orders have now reached 83 aircraft, according to Alenia Aeronautica.