The Italian air force has ordered 12 Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems (LMATTS) C-27J Spartans, becoming launch customer for the upgraded G222. Deliveries are to start in 2001 and last until 2004.
LMATTS has not finalised the deal with the Italian air force but it will include an integrated logistic support package. The air force also hopes to trade-in all 44 of its G222s.
The Italian air force is also finalising a trade-in with Lockheed Martin for 12 C-130Hs as part of a deal which will expand the air force's C-130J order by six to 24.
LMATTS has authorised the production of the first two batches of five aircraft each. Three fuselages are in final assembly at Alenia's Pomigliano plant while a fourth fuselage is being constructed. LMATTS is forecasting an 18 aircraft a year maximum build rate.
It is anticipated that Italian military certification in the second quarter of 2001 with first deliveries in July of the same year. Civil certification should be achieved by late 2001. The first of three prototypes flew in late September.
The aircraft's basic price is $24 millions. LMATTS is aiming to recover the $400-500 million development costs with the sale of 70-100 aircraft.
It is marketing the twin-turboprop in Australia (10 firm and four options), Brazil (21), Greece (15 aircraft plus five options),Switzerland (2), and Taiwan (18 plus four options). Other prospects include Egypt, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Portugal and the US Army.
Source: Flight International