US armed forces pick Italian freighter

After several years of negotiation, the US Army and Air Force picked a team led by New York-based L-3 to build 78 C-27J Spartan cargo planes by 2013, replacing the military’s ageing C-23 light cargo aircraft. The L-3 team includes Italian partner Finmeccanica SpA’s subsidiary Alenia North America and Boeing. The contract will provide more […]


After several years of negotiation, the US Army and Air Force picked a team led by New York-based L-3 to build 78 C-27J Spartan cargo planes by 2013, replacing the military’s ageing C-23 light cargo aircraft. The L-3 team includes Italian partner Finmeccanica SpA’s subsidiary Alenia North America and Boeing.

The contract will provide more small transports for delivering cargo in places even C-130s can’t reach. The C-27J is a joint U.S./Italian upgrade of the Italian G-222. The 28-tonne aircraft can carry nine tonnes for up to 2,500 kilometers and land on smaller airfi elds than the C- 130 can handle. The US Air Force bought ten C-27Js in the 1990s, but took them out of service because it was cheaper to deliver cargo via the larger C-130.