MC-27J Spartan

Alenia Aermacchi and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) have successfully carried out the first phase of ground and flight testing of MC-27J multi-mission aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, US.

Designed and certified by the US Air Force (USAF) and deemed successful by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the joint testing installed and evaluated a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) gun system onboard Alenia’s C-27J Spartan airlifter.

The current flight trials successfully demonstrated the C-27J’s ability to host the self-contained, modular pallet using GAU-23 30mm cannon in a side-firing configuration.

ATK Defense Electronic Systems vice president and general manager Bill Kasting said: "The performance and functionality of the gunship pallet in this first round of testing met all of our objectives, and we are now ready to move on to Phase 2 of development and testing.

"The introduction of the ATK palletized system is a perfect fit for the C-27J."

"Our modular Roll-on / Roll-off mission and weapon systems, coupled with the proven capability of the C-27J, provide customers with an adaptable, agile and affordable multi-mission solution."

Alenia Aermacchi North America president and CEO Ben Stone said: "The introduction of the ATK palletized system is a perfect fit for the C-27J."

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He added: "It combines the aircraft’s inherent mission capability with ATK’s proven ability to develop cost-effective integration solutions."

The next testing phase is expected to further advance the Technology Readiness Level of MC-27J aircraft.

A RORO variant of the C-27J, MC-27J airlifter is designed to assist air and special forces in anti-terrorism operations and evacuation of military personnel and civil populations.

Equipped with the ATK-developed GAU-23 30mm precision weapon kit, the aircraft can support all standard special forces’ operations by serving as a platform with quick transfer speed, long operational range, and enhanced cargo capacity for the operators, troops and vehicles.

The aircraft’s joint development and marketing plans were revealed by the two companies during the 2012 Farnborough International Air Show in the UK.

Image: MC-27J Spartan multi-mission aircraft during its flight. Photo: © 2012 Alenia Aermacchi – A Finmeccanica Company.

Defence Technology