Negotiations between Alenia Aeronautica and Boeing concerning an industrial partnership to build the C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) came to an end last month. Discussions had been ongoing for more than two years, although they were temporarily halted last year. The current economic climate is considered to be the primary cause, as Boeing has stated that there were no concerns about the product or the proposed partnership.
L-3 Communications is the prime contractor for the C-27J, 78 of which are currently on order for the U.S. Army and Air Force. Alenia builds the aircraft, and had planned to share the production with Boeing. Now Alenia North America is proceeding with its plans to build a factory at Cecil Field near Jacksonville, Fla. The $100 million plant is expected to be ready by next year, and under current plans will build around 140 C-27Js. Alenia is building the initial production aircraft in Italy. L-3 and Alenia have stated that the Boeing pull-out will not affect delivery schedules.