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Italian Air Force taps Leonardo for C-27J Spartan upgrades

Italian C-27J Spartan upgrade
Leonardo photo of an Italian Air Force C-27J Spartan

Italian defense contractor Leonardo and Armaereo, the Italian defense ministry’s air force armament and airworthiness directorate, have signed a contract for the upgrade of the Italian Air Force’s C-27J Spartan fleet.

The contract covers the development and integration of new avionics, upgrading general systems, the self-protection system, and the flight simulator.

The contract not only involves the delivery of the first aircraft in the new configuration but also the potential retrofitting of the remaining 11 aircraft in the Italian C-27J fleet.

The avionic suite will be upgraded with new features, including a mission computer, flight management system, head up and head down displays, communication systems, and other improvements to enhance the aircraft’s operational effectiveness. The training system will also be updated to align with the new systems introduced on-board.

Dario Marfè, Senior Vice President of Leonardo, Aircraft Division, stated that the latest evolution of the C-27J will improve its efficacy and operational capability. Australia, Romania, and US operators of the Spartan have also chosen to upgrade their C-27J aircraft fleets.

The new avionics will include a glass cockpit with five multi-functional color screens, a radar system for tactical transport missions, and a new communication system. The aircraft’s multi-mission capabilities are further enhanced by the second-generation modular airborne fire fighting system by United Aeronautical Corporation. Also, The C-27J can be fitted with a variety of sensors, managed via a palletized mission system, and transformed to the configuration required for mission such as airlifts, airdrops, medical evacuation, VIP transportation, humanitarian assistance, natural disaster response, firefighting, and more.

In addition to its multi-role military transport capabilities, the C-27J can also be configured for various specialized missions such as maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, and command-control-communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.