July 9, 2012. David Pugliese Defence Watch
Press release from Alenia:
Alenia Aermacchi is pleased to introduce a new version of the C-27J battlefield airlifter, the MC-27J. The MC-27J is a multi-mission, armed, Roll On/Roll Off (RO/RO) derivative of the C-27J Spartan. Alenia Aermacchi and ATK will jointly produce and market this new offering.
The new MC-27J is an adaptable, agile, and affordable solution for various airborne multi-mission requirements that today are performed by a wide variety of aircraft, including special operations versions of the C-130. The MC-27J is not just a gunship, but a battlefield tested platform equipped with proven sensors, communications, and weapons suite able to execute a wide range of customer-driven missions.
The MC-27J is designed to support air forces and Special Forces in performing several key operations, including: anti-terrorism missions, the evacuation of military personnel and civil populations from crisis areas, fighting asymmetrical threats and for all standard operations of the Special Forces. The MC-27J provides Special Forces a platform with quick transfer speed; long operational range and ample cargo capacity (console for the systems’ operators, troops and vehicles).
The MC-27J is capable of taking off from and landing on short and/or unprepared strips while acting as an autonomous command and control centre integrated with the ground command network. The MC-27J will also provide Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) capability as well as the ability to deploy paratroopers. Furthermore, the MC-27J’s target designation and on-board weapons systems provide outstanding support for ground operations.
ATK’s gunship capability is provided from a newly developed palletized weapons system, which is self-contained, modular, scalable and provides RO/RO flexibility. This palletized system integrates sensors, communications and weapons into a responsive and reconfigurable mission package. Specific features for the MC-27J system include enhanced electro-optical/infrared targeting sensors, a trainable 30mm cannon, precision guided munitions, advanced communications and a networked mission management and fire control system.
The MC-27J provides outstanding offensive capability utilizing a palletized weapon system specifically designed for the ATK 30mm GAU-23 cannon and other precision guided weapon systems, resulting in a highly effective system that minimizes collateral damages. The palletized system is designed for easy embarkation and disembarkation via the aircraft’s rear ramp; permitting flexibility in the use of the unaltered aircraft. The primary configuration requires minimal integration on the aircraft’s frame to significantly reduce acquisition costs and development times, while retaining the C-27J’s robust airlift capabilities.
At the core of the MC-27J is the C-27J Spartan, the best-selling battlefield airlifter, offering payload, persistence and out-of-area capabilities coupled with high performance; high maneuverability and the capability to operate on short, unpaved strips. The Spartan is currently the world’s best seller in the tactical airlifter’s category with 89 airplanes ordered by 9 countries all over the world including Italy, United States and recently, Australia.
The MC-27J offer commonality of equipments and systems with larger multi-mission platforms but at much lower operational costs and with the operational flexibility of being able to operate form shorter runways also in hot and high conditions, and as modern and reliable solution for those air forces interested in integrating their forces with a skilled airplane in a very delicate role but at the same time very flexible in its use.