TURIN, Italy, April 28 (UPI) -- A fully configured multi-mission tactical transport/gunship by Alenia Aermacchi has completed its first flight test in Italy, the company announced.
The MC-27J demonstrator aircraft, developed in partnership with ATK in the U.S., was modified with an L-3 Wescam MX-15Di electro-optical and infrared turret mounted under its nose for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and search-and –Rescue missions. It was also outfitted with Link-16 datalink software and hardware for the ATK palletized mission system installation.
The MC-27J Pretorian is a medium-lift aircraft that can be used for command-and-control missions and also as a gunship. It has a speed of 374 miles per hour and a range of 1,150 miles with a payload of 10,000 pounds. The Italian Air Force, U.S. Air Force and Air Force of Greece operate earlier cargo variant of the plane, the C-27J.
Alena Aermacci said it is being developed and marketed in a phased approach and that installation of both the ATK developed modular roll-on/roll-off mission and weapon system, and a modified side door for installation of a GAU-23 30mm cannon will be completed next month with a new series of flight tests to follow.
The first phase of ground and flight tests were conducted last spring by ATK and Alenia Aermacchi at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and demonstrated the aircraft’s capability to quickly go from a tactical cargo mission capability to a persistent multi-mission capability using RORO pallets for the integrated mission system consoles, the GAU-23 cannon, and Precision Guided Munition weapon systems.