US Army Special Operations Command Flight Detachment C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft
US Army Special Operations Command Flight Detachment C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft

Leonardo to Upgrade Avionics of US SOCOM’s C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft

Leonardo Societa per Azioni (S.p.A.), Pomigliano d’Arco, Naples, Italy, is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract in the amount of $91,882,621 with firm-fixed-price requirements to design, modify, integrate and install the 1.2+ avionics update package on the C-27J Spartan fixed wing transport aircraft. Fiscal 2021-2023 aircraft procurement, Army funds in the amount of $31,916,251; and procurement, construction and improvement, Coast Guard funds in the amount of $32,143,780 were obligated at the time of the award. The majority of the work will be performed in Naples, Italy.

The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft developed and manufactured by Leonardo’s Aircraft Division. 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 2008, US$32 million was reallocated to buy a C-27J for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, to fulfill requirements defined by AFSOC for the AC-XX concept, a replacement for the aging Lockheed AC-130s. AFSOC planned for 16 gunships, the first in 2011 and two more per year up to 2015.


The AC-27J was to be a multi-mission platform, equipped with full-motion cameras and outfitted to support covert infiltration and other ground operations, armed with either a 30-millimeter or 40-millimeter gun or precision-guided munitions such as the Viper Strike bomb. At the Air Force Association’s 2008 conference, it was named “Stinger II” after the AC-119K Stinger. C-27A 90-0170 was removed from storage at AMARC in October 2008 and delivered to Eglin AFB, Florida, for use by the Air Force Research Laboratory to test the feasibility of mounting of 30 mm and 40 mm guns.

In May 2009, the program was put on hold because U.S. Army funding for 40 C-27s in an Army–Air Force cooperative purchase was removed from the fiscal 2010 budget. U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command elected to standardize their fleet with the C-130 to meet its gunship needs. The C27J aircraft provides U.S. special operations forces with fixed wing aircraft support. This contract action supports a requirement to replace the aging avionic package on the C27J fixed wing aircraft that has components dating back more than 15 years. U.S. Special Operations Command headquarters, Tampa, Florida, is the contracting activity.

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