Alenia Aeronautica's C-27J Spartan tactical transport programme received a massive boost yesterday, with the type's selection to meet a combined US Air Force and US Army requirement for a new fleet of Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA).
Led by L-3 Integrated Systems and also comprising Alenia North America and Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, the C-27J team was announced as the winner of a deal to supply an initial 78 aircraft worth $2 billion under the JCA programme.
The JCA programme currently envisages the production of 70 aircraft for the USAF and 75 for the army, although Alenia Aeronautica parent company Finmeccanica believes the order could rise to 207 aircraft worth an estimated $6 billion.
L-3 Integrated Systems president Bob Drewes has attributed the success to the team's "best value" offer, which saw the C-27J defeat the EADS Casa C-295 offered by EADS North America and Raytheon.
Alenia Aeronautica has previously received firm orders to supply 32 C-27Js to Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Lithuania.
C-27J Spartans can be configured for any mission: troops, medical evacuations, airdrop or cargo.