The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a tactical military transport aircraft. It was designed and manufactured by Alenia Aermacchi, now part of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The aircraft can carry up to 20 tons of cargo or 92 fully equipped troops. This plane was used extensively in Afghanistan and Iraq by the U.S., NATO allies, and coalition partners as well as in other countries such as Australia, Canada, France and Italy for humanitarian missions after natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft that was manufactured by Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin. It has been widely used around the world to perform various tasks, such as transporting cargo, carrying troops into combat zones, and fighting fires. The C-27J can also land on short runways or rough terrain without requiring any type of ground support equipment. In total, there are more than 100 Spartans in service with 16 different countries around the world.
The C-27J offers performance similar to much larger cargo aircraft such as the Lockheed C-130 Hercules or Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, but at only one third of the cost per flight hour. The two primary roles for this versatile troop and cargo carrier are tactical airland operations and theater resupply missions. Its ability to operate from austere airsfields and short, rough terrain makes it a good choice for use in austere regions. The C-27J also provides excellent tactical airlift capability, including rapid response to natural disasters, as demonstrated by its relief missions in Bosnia (1998) and Vanuatu (1999).
The Italian Air Force has purchased 27 aircraft with the option of additional aircraft. The Italian Air Force also operates the C-27A, which is a similar version of the C-27J that has been upgraded to NATO standards. In addition to its wide use by Italy, there are currently Spartans in service with the United States Coast Guard (4), Greece (7), India (17), Iraq (4), Kazakhstan (5), Mexico (1), Morocco (2), Pakistan (5), Poland (6) and Thailand.
The C-27J also has an extensive logistics and support network in Italy ramped up especially for the Iraqi Air Force program, with a depot established at Pratica di Mare Air Base, as well as an active Iraq Cell, to support Iraqi C-27J sustainment. With this experience, the Italian Air Force is now supporting all international operators of C-27J aircraft with their logistics requirements.
After a decade of inactivity, Spartan production was revived by Alenia Aermacchi in 2012 (shortly after its divestment from Finmeccanica) in a joint venture with RDA Corp. of Anniston, Alabama, United States (formerly part of the now defunct DASA North America).