The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale of ten C-27J aircraft, including related equipment, parts, training and logistical support, to Australia.
Under the $950m sale, Australia has also requested 23 AE2100D2 Rolls-Royce engines, 12 electronic warfare self-protection suites, 12 AAR-47A(V)2 missile warning systems, and 12 ALE-47(V) threat adaptive countermeasures dispensing systems, including 12 APR-39B(V)2 radar warning receivers.
The package also includes: 13 AN/APN-241 radar systems; 44 AN/ARC-210 warrior very high frequency/ultra high frequency communication systems; 12 KY-100 units; 12 HF 9550 radios; 12 APX-119 identification friend or foe (Mode 4) devices; 14 blue force trackers; and 12 portable flight mission planning systems, among others.
The proposed package is expected to further improve interoperability between Australian and US forces as well as provide the required capability to meet current and future air mobility needs, humanitarian operations and disaster relief efforts in South East Asia.
L3 Integrated Systems will be the prime contractor for the Australian C-27J programme.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) retired its fleet of 14 DHC-4 Caribou aircraft in 2009 and also has plans to retire the 12 C-130H aircraft.
The C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft, jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aeronautica, is equipped with two
Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboshaft engines and is capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 602km/h.
The aircraft is designed to perform a range of missions that include cargo transportation, logistic support of military units, electronic surveillance, firefighting, and search and rescue operations.
The aircraft can accommodate 62 soldiers or 42 paratroopers and can carry a load of up to 11,500kg, two armoured personnel carriers, three Howitzers, and a mid-sized helicopter.
The US, Italian, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Moroccan, Slovakian, and Mexican air forces have also placed orders for the C-27J aircraft.
Image Caption: The C-27J Spartan is a tactical transport aircraft jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aeronautica.