Finmeccanica is at the show promoting its C-27J Spartan tactical transport as a contender for the Omani air force's requirement for eight multi-mission aircraft.

"We believe we are well placed for this tender, which is expected to be assigned by year-end", said Massimo Ghione, senior vice president marketing and sales for Finmeccanica's aeronautics sector. Ghione also sees interest in the C-27J from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and potentially the United Arab Emirates.

The Spartan is already in service with six customers, including Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Romania and the USA, while aircraft were recently delivered to Morocco and Mexico. The type has also been selected by Slovakia.

C-27J - BillyPix

 © Billypix

At the Paris air show earlier this year, Alenia Aeronautica announced the launch of a feasibility study by the Italian ministry of defence into a special version of the C-27J Spartan, which would be used for "typical commando missions", with the added capability of performing "weaponised type missions". Dubbed "Preatorian" and developed by an integrated MoD and company team with the aim of satisfying both domestic and export requirements, the new version is based on a Selex Sistemi Integrati (Selex-SI) "FlexMis" roll-on/roll-off air transportable command, control, communication and intelligence module, a weapon system and associated electro-optical/IR payload, said Alenia.

Finmeccanica is meanwhile proposing to Oman a maritime patrol version of the glass cockpit-equipped Alenia/EADS ATR 72-600 turboprop to meet the country's requirement for four aircraft to perform a range of missions, including exclusive economic zone patrol and resources protection, search and rescue and anti-pollution, both in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf.

Equipped with Selex Galileo's new maritime long-range airborne tactical observation system, together with a sensor suite including Selex Galileo's surface-search active electronically-scanned array radar, the ATR 72 MP has a maximum endurance of 10h (plus reserves) with an eight-person mission crew. Being conducted in parallel with the tactical transport aircraft evaluation, Oman's maritime patrol aircraft tender is expected to be awarded in early 2012.

Source: Flight Daily News