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Wed, Jun 18, 2008

First C-27J Spartan For JCA Program Takes Flight

Completes Maiden Trip Skyward In "Poor" Weather

Alenia North America announced Tuesday the first C-27J Spartan for the US Army's Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) successfully completed its maiden flight at the Alenia facility in Turin, Italy.

"This is an outstanding achievement for the Alenia Aeronautica team in Italy and demonstrates Alenia's clear capability to achieve critical program milestones," said Giuseppe Giordo, president and chief executive officer of Alenia North America, Inc. "On this great day we also look forward to many more important milestones including the industrialization of the C-27J in the United States."

JCA #1 took off from Alenia's Caselle pant on Monday, under reportedly poor weather conditions, and remained in flight for 40 minutes. The flight included takeoff, functional checks and landing operations. This marks the beginning of a flight test campaign including approximately 70 hours of flight and 180 hours of ground tests. Most of the tests will be conducted in Caselle.

As ANN reported, the Joint Cargo Aircraft program selected the C-27J Spartan with Alenia as the aircraft manufacturer. The team (L-3 and Alenia) won the $2 billion contract in June 2007 for up to 78 aircraft for the US Army and Air Force, though follow-on contracts, as well as international, foreign military and variant sales are expected to push the aircraft number over 200.

The C-27J Spartan has been in production in Italy since 2001, with deliveries to Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania. The C-27J has also been selected by Romania, with contract negotiations currently underway.

The C-27J will replace the US Army's C-23 Sherpa, C-12 and C-26 aircraft and augment the US Air Force's 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.



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