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Azerbaijan Air Force Unveils First C-27J Spartan NG Military Transport Aircraft

Azerbaijan Air Force Unveils First C-27J Spartan NG Military Transport Aircraft
Azerbaijan Air Force Unveils First C-27J Spartan NG Military Transport Aircraft
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The Azerbaijan Air Force celebrated the arrival of its new Leonardo C-27J Spartan NG military transport aircraft on June 26, 2024. The official presentation of the aircraft, serial 40860/60 with test registration CSX62333, was held on Armed Forces Day, coinciding with the 106th anniversary of the Azerbaijani army. The unveiling ceremony at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku was attended by notable figures including President Ilham Aliyev, Italy’s Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy Edmondo Cirielli, and Stefano Pontecorvo, Chairman of Leonardo.

The C-27J will be utilized for a variety of missions, including military transport, airdrops of paratroopers and cargo, and medical missions. This addition marks Azerbaijan as the 17th country to operate the C-27J Spartan, with two units ordered as per Leonardo’s “Integrated Annual Report 2023.” The procurement of the C-27J is part of Azerbaijan’s broader modernization program for its armed forces, emphasizing collaboration with Italian industry. The program was finalized through a technical round table between the Italian Ministry of Defence and its Azerbaijani counterpart.

The C-27J Spartan transport aircraft of the Azerbaijan Air Force. Photo: Office of the President of Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijan Air Force C-27J Spartan NG military transport aircraft. (Photo by Office of the President of Azerbaijan)

The C-27J Spartan is renowned for its versatility and reliability in challenging operational scenarios, making it ideal for diverse missions such as military transport, paratrooper airdrops, tactical troop support, special forces operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief. Originally developed by Leonardo’s Aircraft Division, the C-27J is an advanced derivative of the Alenia Aeronautica G.222, sharing engines and systems with the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules. Its adaptability is further demonstrated by specialized variants for maritime patrol, search and rescue, C3 ISR, fire support, and electronic warfare.

Launched in 1997, the C-27J has a maximum payload capacity of 11,300 kilograms, accommodating up to 60 troops or 46 casualty stretchers. It is powered by two Rolls-Royce turboprop engines, enabling operations on short and unprepared runways, with a maximum range of 1,700 kilometers and speeds reaching 670 kilometers per hour. The aircraft is equipped with an electronic self-protection suite for immediate threat response and can be configured for missions such as maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

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