The Romanian Air Force has received the first of seven C-27J Spartan aircraft from Alenia Aeronautica.

The delivery of the aircraft marks the end of a controversial contract, which drew complaint from EADS-CASA after Romania chose the Alenia C-27J over the EADS-CASA C.295M.

EADS complained that the country had chosen the opposition aircraft despite its higher price even though low cost had been specified as the most important criterion in the deal. Romania’s public procurement controlling authority initially upheld the complaint, but it was subsequently overturned by the court of appeals.

A €217m ($308m) contract was eventually signed with Alenia in December 2007.

The C-27Js will replace the nation’s aging communist-era transport fleet and will be operated by Romania’s 902nd Transport and Reconnaissance Squadron.

The 902nd squadron at present has four Antonov An-26s and one An-30 Clank open-skies photo-survey platform.

The Spartans will operate with the 901st squadron’s single C-130H and four C-130Bs.