• The C-27J Spartan. (Leonardo)
    The C-27J Spartan. (Leonardo)

Leonardo and Armaereo, the Italian Defence Ministry’s Air Force Armament and Airworthiness Directorate, have signed a contract as part of the Italian Air Force’s C-27J Spartan fleet upgrade.

The contract includes the development, integration qualification and certification of a new avionics configuration for the C-27J, the upgrading of a number of general systems on the aircraft, the self-protection system and the flight simulator. It also includes the delivery of the relevant first aircraft in this configuration, potentially followed by the retrofitting of the remaining 11 aircraft.

Under this contract, the Air Force’s C-27J will receive a significant upgrade of its avionic suite through the integration of new features such as the Mission Computer, the Flight Management System, Head Up and Head Down displays, radio and satellite communication systems, self-protection system and other upgrades aiming to improve the aircraft’s flexibility and operational effectiveness. The training system will also be updated on the basis of the new systems introduced on-board, aligning both training devices (flight simulators) and courseware (teaching materials) along with relevant technical publications.

“The latest evolution of the C-27J further improves the Spartan’s efficacy and operational capability," Dario Marfè, Senior Vice President Commercial and Customer Services of Leonardo, Aircraft Division, said. "We’re proud to announce that the Italian Air Force has chosen the new avionic configuration of the C-27J, which will provide even better performance and efficiency.

"With its versatility and mission flexibility, the C-27J offers an even broader range of capabilities to support the operators in facing new challenges.”

Australia signed an agreement with Leonardo to upgrade its C-27J fleet late last year, which will result in the replacement and upgrade of existing radio capability.

At the time it was reported that the Commonwealth Avionics Upgrade will begin in September 2023 at RAAF Base Amberley and is due to be completed in 2026.

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