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First flight for upgraded C-27J

Leonardo's aircraft division has performed the first flight of its C-27J transport in a new baseline configuration.

The sortie took place on 3 December from the manufacturer's plant in Turin, northern Italy.

Featuring a number of avionics and cockpit upgrades, the new configuration is designed to make the aircraft compliant with next-generation air traffic management requirements and reduce military obsolescence issues.

Lucio Valerio Cioffi, managing director of Leonardo’s aircraft division, says: "New operators will enjoy modern avionics and improved operational cost and performance within the aircraft flyaway price."

The upgrades will also be available as a retrofit for current operators.

Flight Fleets Analyzer records just five C-27Js in the manufacturer's backlog, for the air forces of Kenya (three) and Zambia (two).

Around 80 examples of the tactical transport are in service, Fleets Analyzer indicates.

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