Italy’s air force has taken delivery of its first C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft from Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica.

The C-27Js will replace the Alenia G222s previously in service with the air force and will be used for troops, cargo, paratroopers and cargo drops as well as for civil protection and fire-fighting operations.

Alenia is expecting to deliver the second aircraft to the Italian air force by the end of January, the third in May, and all but two of the rest by the end of 2007, leaving two aircraft to be delivered by the end of 2008.

 c27j 02 w445
© Alenia

 C27j w445

Alenia has also received C-27J orders from Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania and is awaiting the formal signature of a contract in Romania.

The aircraft is also competing in the US Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) programme and for the replacement for Canada’s search and rescue fleet. Meanwhile, the aircraft is being evaluated by Australia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Slovenia.