The total value of the contract, which also includes logistic support and training, is around EUR 800 million (AUSD 1.4 billion). First aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2015.
“This achievement represents a milestone in Finmeccanica's strategic expansion in the high-potential international markets like Australia and confirms the value of a successful program such as the C-27J”, Giuseppe Orsi, Finmeccanica's Chairman and CEO, said. “In addition to the contract award for NATO's Cyber Security and the selection of the M-346 trainer by Israel - both of which occurred in the first months of 2012 - this announcement proves Finmeccanica's capability to be a major high-technology global player, thus reaching the top position of the most advanced ‘Made in Italy’ brand. The investment in technology is for Italy the best way to ensure its sustainable development, thus maintaining and developing the Country's industrial capabilities, rendering them even more competitive in the international markets”.
The acquisition of the aircraft will be conducted through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangement with the United States and the contract will be awarded to the partnership between L-3 (as prime contractor) and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company. The contract will also include associated support equipment, several years of initial logistic support, training for aircrew and maintenance personnel and additional capability to ensure that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) can operate, maintain and modify the aircraft throughout its planned life.
The C-27J will replace the Caribou aircraft which was retired from service in 2009 after 40 years of service. The C-27J complements the capabilities of the RAAF C-130 and C-17 aircraft and uses common infrastructure and aircraft systems such as engines, avionics and the cargo handling systems.
The C-27J has already been ordered by the air forces of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco, Mexico and by the US Air Force and selected by Slovakia’s air force. The total number of aircraft ordered goes up to 89, as the best seller among aircraft of its category”.
The C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft with state-of-the-art technology in avionics, propulsion and systems. It provides high performances, high cost effectiveness, extreme operating flexibility and is the only aircraft of its class offering interoperability with heavier airlifters.