Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, has performed the ferry flight to the Romanian Air Forces of the first two of seven C-27J tactical transport aircraft ordered in December 2007.
The C-27Js, which will replace the existing Antonov aircraft, landed today at the 90th Transport Air Base at Bucharest-Otopeni Airport, where the handing over ceremony took place. The event was attended by Major General Ion-Aurel Stanciu, Chief of the Romanian Air Forces, and Giuseppe Giordo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alenia North America Inc. and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Alenia Aeronautica.
The C-27J aircraft will be brought into service immediately and a complex process of advanced training of the Romanian crews and technical staff will start, accompanied by the integration, customization and testing of the specific military systems.
Alenia Aeronautica will offer full assistance and logistic support to the customer, providing spare parts, aircraft maintenance equipment, advanced pilot training (including loadmasters and maintenance staff) and technical documentation.
The new C-27Js will be operated by the Romanian Air Force for transporting troops, goods and medicines, medical evacuations (MEDEVAC), dropping paratroopers, search and rescue, logistic re-supply and humanitarian assistance.
The C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft with state-of-the-art technology in avionics, as well as in its propulsion system and other onboard systems. The aircraft boasts excellent operational flexibility and unique characteristics of interoperability with the superior class transport aircraft deployed by the air forces of several NATO countries, thanks to its large cargo cabin NATO standard cross-section.
The aircraft has been ordered by Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Morocco (the first non-NATO customer) and the US. It has also been selected by Slovakia.
The C-27J predecessor is the G.222 that is still operational within many Air Forces among which: Nigerian Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force, Ejercito Argentino, US Department of State, Italian Air Force (in the electronic warfare VS version), also thanks to the efficiency of the logistic support provided by Alenia Aeronautica.
Alenia Aeronautica has also signed in September 2008 a contract with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for 18 refurbished G.222 tactical transport aircraft, which will equip the re-constituted Afghan Air Force (Afghanistan National Army Air Corps – ANAAC).