Alenia’s C-27J tactical airlifter has recently undergone a series of successful refueling trials with an Italian air force Boeing KC-767A tanker. During the test campaign the C-27J undertook “contacts” at altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet, and at speeds of up to 220 knots. The trials also involved tanking at night with night-vision goggles. Refueling runs during turns, in turbulence and in an emergency descent were also accomplished successfully.
Bombardier has a tentative 12th customer for its new CSeries jetliner, the Canadian airframer’s commercial aircraft president Mike Arcamone announced at the Farnborough International show site yesterday. The new and as-yet-unidentified customer has placed an undefined “conditional order” for five 100- to 125-passenger CSeries 100s and five 120- to 145-seat CSeries 300s, nominally valued at about $1 billion.
Alenia Aermacchi is unveiling a new armed version of the C-27J Spartan military transport here at the Farnborough International Airshow. The new MC-27J model will feature an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) package, as well as fire-control equipment and an LW30mm link-fed gun.
A requirement for a military transport to replace 56 HS.748 twin turboprops operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) is raising procedural problems for potential bidders. India released a Request for Information last December inviting OEMs to bid only if they could find private Indian partners. But candidate Indian companies are reluctant to commit to the project.
Airbus Military has sold five C295 tactical transports and three C295 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to the Royal Air Force of Oman. The contract was signed on May 21 after negotiations that had originally been expected to conclude late last year. Oman is Airbus Military’s first customer for the C295 among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It is buying the type to expand its tactical transport capability and to improve significantly its maritime capabilities in a region dogged by piracy, smuggling and illegal immigration.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) chose the Alenia C-27J Spartan to replace a fleet of 14 DHC-4 Caribou STOL airlifters that have already been retired. The 10-aircraft deal will be conducted via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system, with L-3 acting as the prime contractor. Alenia and L-3 formed a partnership to sell the C-27J to the U.S. armed forces. The RAAF also evaluated the EADS CN-295 for the Air 8000 requirement.
The only way is up for Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica after it announced record losses of €2.3 billion ($3 billion) on March 27. Massive “exceptional events” and “non-recurring” charges totaling almost €3.2 billion ($4.3 billion) accounted for most of the financial hit.
Selex Galileo has added new modes to the long-selling Grifo fire control radar and has also designed a pod-mounted version. Angelo Aprile, the company’s head of capability in Italy, told the Military Flight Training conference in London organized by Defence IQ that more than 450 “advanced but affordable” Grifo systems have been sold worldwide. Applications include the F-5E/F, Mirage III, L-159, F-7 (Chinese-built MiG-21bis) and Sikorsky HH-60 helicopter.
Italy is the latest country to offer to pool or share military pilot training with other air forces. “We have many years of experience, and were the first to introduce the practice of ‘downloading’ training from more expensive platforms,” said Col Luca Capasso, deputy chief of the T-346 program office. Alenia Aermacchi has provided the new Italian training system as a package that includes the new T-346 advanced jet trainer and all the ground-based training. The contract was signed in late 2009.
Boeing has decided to move production of the 787-9 horizontal stabilizer from its development center in Seattle to Boeing Salt Lake City and Italy’s Alenia, the company announced yesterday during a stop on the 787 “Dream Tour” in Salt Lake City. Plans call for work to begin in Salt Lake City late this year and delivery of the first example during next year’s first quarter.