Lithuania is to replace its air force fleet of three former civil-operated Antonov An-26 transports with three C-27J Spartan tactical airlifters under a €75 million ($93.8 million) contract with Alenia Aeronautica.

To be produced in the same configuration as Italy’s future fleet of 12 C-27Js, including a glass cockpit, in-flight refuelling probe and self-protection suite, the new aircraft will be used for domestic troop transport and international deployments in support of NATO commitments. Lithuania will receive its first new aircraft late this year, with its remaining two airlifters to be delivered in 2008-9. Alenia has previously secured an order to produce eight C-27Js for Bulgaria, and also has active campaigns under way to offer the type as a replacement for ageing Antonovs in additional former Warsaw Pact states, including the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

Source: Flight International