The flight test campaign in Italy of the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle nEUROn has been successfully concluded with the achievement of all established goals, thus allowing an important step forward for the program.
The nEUROn is the European full-scale technological demonstrator for an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) developed by an industrial team led by Dassault Aviation with the collaboration of Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, Saab, Airbus Defence and Space, RUAG and HAI.
The aircraft has been deployed at the Italian Air Force’s Decimomannu Air Base, in Sardinia, Italy, where it has fulfilled a series of important operational tests. In particular, the 12 highly sensitive sorties have allowed to verify the characteristics of nEUROn’s combat capability, its low radar-cross section and low infrared signature, during missions flown at different altitudes and flight profiles and against both ground-based and air radar «threats», using in this latter case, an Eurofighter Typhoon.
During the deployment in Italy, the nEUROn has confirmed its already ascertained excellent performance and high operational reliability. Starting this summer, the next testing phase will be run in Sweden, at the Vidsel Air Base, where tests of low observability and use of weapon delivery from the aircraft’s Weapon Bay will be carried out.
The demonstrator’s development activity is an important step in the technology maturation process of the acquired technology, mitigating the level of risk of future investments for UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in Europe and moving towards systems’ development for operational uses.
The nEUROn is the European full-scale technological demonstrator for an UCAV developed by an industrial team led by Dassault Aviation with the collaboration of Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, Saab, Airbus Defence and Space, RUAG and HAI
The official ceremony for the delivery of the first C-27J Spartan to Peru’s Air Force has taken place on March 27, in Lima, at Las Palmas base. The event has seen the participation of the Peruvian Defence Minister, Pedro Cateriano Bellido, the Commander in Chief of the Peruvian Air Force – General Dante Arévalo Abate, the Italian Defence Minister, Roberta Pinotti, the Italian Ambassador in Lima, Mauro Marsili, and the Alenia Aermacchi’s Vice General Manager, Massimo Ghione.
This aircraft is part of the contract signed between Alenia Aermacchi and the Peruvian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea del Perú, FAP) in December 2013. In December 2014 a second contract was signed for two additional C-27Js bringing to four aircraft the number of these planes ordered by the FAP. The airplanes’ deliveries will end in 2017 and will be managed by the Air Group 8 at the Callao base, on the central coast of the Country.
The C-27J has been selected thanks to is capability of operating safely and efficiently and at competitive costs in all operational scenarios of this Latin American Country, including activities on semi-prepared airstrips of the Andes and of the many local airports, at high altitudes and with hot weather. The FAP will employ the C-27J as a strategic asset in passenger and cargo transport, humanitarian, fire-fighting, search and rescue and internal security missions.
In addition to Peru, the C-27J Spartan has already been ordered by the Air Forces of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco and Slovakia, as well as by the United States, Mexico, Australia and by an African Country, for a total of 80 airplanes.
The C-27J Spartan is the best seller in the new-generation, medium battlefield airlifter category. The C-27J Spartan is a twin-engine, turboprop, tactical transport aircraft with state-of-the-art technology in avionics, propulsion and systems. It provides high performance, extreme operating flexibility and cost efficiency and it is the only aircraft in its class capable of interoperability with heavier airlifters.
The C-27J Spartan can perform a variety of missions including transport of troops, goods and medicines, logistical re-supply, MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC), airdrop operations, paratroopers’ launches, Search And Rescue (SAR), firefighting, humanitarian assistance, oil spill relief, and operations in support of homeland security.
The C-27J Spartan is equipped with modern avionics and efficient propulsion system (Rolls Royce AE2100-D2A, assuring a 4,650 shp/3,467.5 kW). The architecture of its avionics system is completely redundant, thus increasing the level of mission security and reliability and permitting operation in any environment condition and in any operational scenario.
The C-27J Spartan, thanks to a loading system, perfectly compatible with that of the C-130 Hercules, can carry pallets weighing up to 10,000 lbs/4,550 kg and 7.2 feet/2.2 m tall, or platforms with a length of 12 feet/3.6 m, weighing up 13,228 lbs/6,000 kg.
The C-27J Spartan is capable of taking off from and landing on unprepared strips less-than-500 m/1,640 feet long, with maximum take-off weight up to 70,000 lbs/31,800 kg; it may carry up to 60 equipped soldiers or up to 46 paratroopers and, in the air ambulance (MEDEVAC) version, 36 stretchers or 24 stretchers and two Patient Transport Support System (P.T.S.S), with stretchers and stowage provisions for intensive care medical equipment and six medical assistants.
The large cross section (8.53 feet/2.60 m high, 10.92 feet/3.33 m wide) and high floor strength (10,800 lbs/m/4,900 kg/m load capability) allow heavy and large military equipment to be loaded. The C-27J Spartan can, for example, carry fighter and transport aircraft engines, such as C-130 Hercules, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16 Fighting Falcon and Mirage 2000 directly on its normal engine dollies without additional special equipment.
The C-27J Spartan has been designed, developed and tested as a true military aircraft. It has obtained Military Qualification Certificate. At the same time the C-27J Spartan is airworthy to civil standards, as witnessed by its certification from the Civil Aviation Authority, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2001 for the basic configuration and subsequently EASA/FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in 2010 for the C-27J JCA configuration.