Slovenian Air Force will become the latest operator of the C-27J transport aircraft after the country signed a Government to Government ( G2G ) agreement with Italy on November 18. Italy will take care of the maintenance and training of flight crews aspect under the deal. This is the first time that Italy had signed such a G2G agreement with another country. The agreement was signed by Italian Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini and Slovenian Minister of Defens Matej Tonin. Italian Air Force has 12 aircraft in operation with 98th Gruppo/46th Air Brigade.
The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft developed and manufactured by Leonardo’s Aircraft Division (formerly Alenia Aermacchi until 2016). It is an advanced derivative of Alenia Aeronautica’s earlier G.222 (C-27A Spartan in U.S. service), equipped with the engines and various other systems also used on the larger Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules. In addition to the standard transport configuration, specialized variants of the C-27J have been developed for maritime patrol, search and rescue, C3 ISR (command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), fire support/ground-attack and electronic warfare missions.
The aircraft design is based on the proven G-222 airframe from Alenia, with turboprop engines from Allison and advanced systems from Lockheed Martin. The Spartan is constructed with a floor strength equal to that of a Hercules transporter, and the large cargo cabin cross-section is able to accommodate Hercules pallets. The C-27J is equipped with two AE 2100D3 turboshaft engines, supplied by Rolls-Royce Defence North America. Messier-Dowty supply the six-bladed composite propellers. The C-27J is equipped with a digital avionics suite integrated by Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems. The mission computers are supplied by Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company, and the displays by ADC. Honeywell provides the autopilot and the standby instruments are supplied by BF Goodrich.
In 2007, the C-27J was selected as the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) for the United States military; these were produced in an international teaming arrangement under which L-3 Communications served as the prime contractor. In 2012, the United States Air Force (USAF) elected to retire the C-27J after only a short service life due to budget cuts; they were later reassigned to the U.S. Coast Guard and United States Special Operations Command. The C-27J has also been ordered by the military air units of Australia, Bulgaria, Chad, Italy, Greece, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, United States, Romania, Slovakia, Zambia and an undisclosed country.