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Fri, Jun 15, 2007

C-27J Spartan Selected For Army, USAF Joint Cargo Aircraft Contract

Team Led By L-3 Communications Wins $2 Billion Bid

Aero-News learned this week the US Army and the US Air Force have made their decision on what aircraft will fulfill its Joint Cargo Aircraft role. And the winner is... the C-27J Spartan, put forth by a team led by L-3 Communications, Alenia North America, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and Global Military Aircraft Systems (GMAS).

The C-27J is a mid-range, multifunctional and interoperable aircraft that will replace the US Army's C-23 Sherpas, C-12 and C-26 aircraft and augment the US Air Forces' existing fleet of intratheater airlifters. The aircraft will play a key role in providing responsive aerial sustainment and critical re-supply support for the maneuver force to maintain operational momentum.

"We are very proud that the US Army and US Air Force selected the C-27J for the JCA Program," said Michael T. Strianese, President and Chief Executive Officer of L-3 Communications. "For this top priority program, L-3 will be serving as the prime. We look forward to working together with Finmeccanica's Alenia Aeronautica and Alenia NA to deliver combat-ready, military aircraft that will support the joint forces in the field today and set a path for growth well into the future."

The intial $2.04 billion contract calls for 78 aircraft, to be divided between the two branches of the armed forces. The Army will get 54 planes, with the Air Force flying the remaining 24. More planes may be ordered in the future.

"We are very pleased with the selection and acknowledgement that the C-27J is the best solution for the JCA," said Bob Drewes, President and COO of L-3 Integrated Systems Group. "We always believed this aircraft was the right solution and one that best meets the needs of the warfighter. The C-27J is ready to perform the JCA mission today."

"Today's announcement is the result of a real transatlantic partnership between American and Italian aerospace companies," said Giuseppe Giordo, president and chief executive officer, Alenia North America. "This decision also indicates that the US Army and US Air Force both recognize the unique capabilities of our C-27J aircraft, our team and our JCA offering as a whole."

"This team brings together the best of global industry to provide a proven, low-risk solution for our Army and Air Force customers," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "We're very pleased to join with our partners to deliver this latest version of an outstanding airlifter that's ready to meet the mobility needs of our military customers."

The C-27J was selected over a team comprised of Raytheon and EADS-CASA, which had offered a variant of the CN-295 twin turboprop.

FMI: www.c27j.com, www.army.mil, www.af.mil

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