The US Air Force has ordered eight additional C-27J joint cargo aircraft (JCA) from Finmeccanica under a $319m contract.

Finmeccanica will deliver the aircraft to its US partner, L-3, in 2012.

The firm has so far received $812m worth of orders from the US Government under an agreement signed in June 2007 to deliver 21 C-27Js for the US Air Force and Army.

US Congress is in the process of approving the country’s 2011 defence budget, which also includes $351m for an additional eight C-27Js.