European tactical turboprop transport manufacturers are eyeing a potential 45-aircraft US Army Common Airborne Sensor (CAS) programme to give their programmes a major boost. Prominent among the contenders displaying at Paris were CASA with its new C-295 and the CN-235 and a Royal Netherlands Air Force Fokker 60 supporting a bid by Dutch company Forward Aircraft. Forward is attempting to use the CAS project to get the aircraft back into production following the demise of Fokker in the mid-1990s. A request for proposals is expected from the army early next year for a $2 billion programme to replace the Guardrail, Airborne Reconnaissance Low and Crazy Horse surveillance aircraft with a single type. Meanwhile, one of the expected frontrunners for the contract, the Lockheed Martin/Alenia C-27J, was being rolled out from the Alenia factory at Casselle, Italy. Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are expected to be competing for the mission system contract.

Source: Flight International