The United States Coast Guard (USCG) will acquire 14 Alenia Aermacchi C-27Js as part of an intra-service transfer from the United States Air Force (USAF). The transfer was approved on December 19 through the Congressional passage of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act and formally signed into law by President Obama on December 26.

The law allows 14 of the current USAF C-27Js to be promptly transferred to the USCG with initial flight operations commencing within 6-12 months. The aircraft will be used for medium range surveillance USCG missions such as maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue.

The company also anticipates the USCG will immediately begin the process for expanding the C-27J’s capabilities with tailored mission kits to include surface-search radars, electro-optical sensors and mission suites installed on all 14 planes.

The aircraft represent a highly efficient, cost-effective solution to the USCG’s Deepwater recapitalization program and reinforce the C-27J’s proven adaptability, maneuverability, and speed for maritime and search and rescue missions.

The C-27J will play an important role in improving the response capability and operational effectiveness of the USCG and generating significant cost savings for the taxpayer. With this transfer, the USCG will receive an aircraft with the advanced medium surveillance capabilities needed to further enhance its ability to perform critical missions. The C-27J will provide the USCG with greater range, endurance, speed and payload capacity than other twin turboprops in its inventory, and the capability to perform both medium and long-range missions, said Benjamin Stone, president and chief executive officer of Alenia Aermacchi’s North American business unit.

The C-27J is the perfect fixed wing multi-role airlift aircraft for today’s complex operating environments. Extremely maneuverable and versatile, the rugged C-27J boasts the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class, and the ability to perform fighter aircraft-like 3.0g force maneuvers — enabling it to make tight turns, and to climb and descend quickly. It can fly farther, faster and higher than any other twin engine military transport aircraft in its class. Its low operating cost makes it an ideal platform in today’s fiscally constrained environment. The Spartan has been ordered by the air forces of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco, Mexico, United States, Australia, Peru, and an undisclosed African country for a total of 76 aircraft.

Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, has a total workforce of ca. 11,000 people and operates in the design, development, production and integrated support of commercial and military aircraft, trainers, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. In 2012 it reported revenues of €2.97 billion, orders of €3.2 billion and a backlog of €8.8 billion.