source Shepard Group
20 December 2011 - by Tony Osborne - Shepard Group
The Australian government has requested the purchase of 10 Alenia C-27J transport aircraft through the US Government's Foreign Military Sale programme.
According to a 19 December release by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Australia has requested 10 C-27Js, 23 engines as well as electronic warfare and communications suites and missile warning systems. Other systems required include a flight simulator, fuselage and maintenance training devices. The contract could be worth as much as $950 million.
The DSCA said that the sales would allow the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) to 'improve its capability to meet current and future air mobility needs and humanitarian operations and disaster relief efforts in South-East Asia.'
The C-27s would replace the Royal Australian Air Force's retired fleet of De Haviland Caribou transports, the last of which was taken out of service in November 2009. The air force is also planning to retire a dozen C-130H Hercules.
The DSCA said: 'The proposed sale of C-27J’s will provide the capability needed to meet operational needs and emerging requirements. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing the C-27J and support into its armed forces.’