Lockheed Martin has looked at the feasibility of installing Ericsson's Erieye airborne early warning (AEW) radar on the upgraded C-27J transport, under development with Alenia.

A version of the C-27J could be offered as a smaller alternative to the AEW variant of Lockheed Martin's C-130J Hercules 2. The C-130J is offered with the company's APS-145 AEW radar, but Lockheed Martin has an agreement to study use of Ericsson's phased-array Erieye.

The C-27J is an upgraded version of Alenia's G222/C-27A twin-turboprop transport, using the Allison engines and Honeywell avionics developed for the C-130J. Under the joint venture, Lockheed Martin is responsible for integration and Alenia for production - revenues from sales will be divided 50:50 by the companies.

The C-27J is scheduled to fly in mid-1999, with deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter of 2000. Alenia is converting a G222 to act as the prototype.

The C-130J and an original C-27A Spartan appeared together at Chile's FIDAE show in March, at the start of a Latin American sales tour with the improved Hercules. Lockheed Martin sees Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela as near term prospects for C-130Js, but admits that early interest within the region is likely to be in the smaller C-27J.

The C-27J is to be offered for Brazil's CLX airlifter requirement for an aircraft to replace its de Havilland DHC-5s. A request for proposals is expected in June, leading to a decision by the year end. Brazil is expected to require more than 20 aircraft. CASA is likely to compete, with the C-295, and IPTN may offer the CN-235.

Source: Flight International