ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Alenia Aermacchi's U.S. partner for weaponizing the C-27J airlifter has given details of the armaments the aircraft will carry and how it will carry them.
ATK said the MC-27J variant will be equipped with its GAU-23 Bushmaster 30mm cannon configured for firing from the side of the plane. The gun uses a simple, automatic feed system and fires a variety of NATO 30mm rounds.
The weapon system will be mounted on a roll-on/roll-off pallet for quick mounting and removal from MC-27J via the plane's rear ramp, allowing for quick reconfiguration of the aircraft for other missions, including command and control through pallet-mounted sensors and communications equipment.
The aircraft can also be used for transporting troops and cargo.
The first customer for the MC-27J is the Italian Air Force, which will use the aircraft for its special forces, which will deploy the plane in an operational theater next spring.
"The selection of the MC-27J by the Italian Air Force and the fielding of this aircraft recognize the significant capability we have teamed to provide," said Mike Kahn, president of the ATK Defense Group. "Our partnership with Alenia Aermacchi on the MC-27J will give the Italian Air Force an adaptable, agile and affordable multi-mission solution."
The base C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop transport with a cruise speed of 362 mph, a ceiling of 30,000 feet and a range of more than 1,000 miles with a payload of 22,000 pounds.