ARLINGTON, Va., July 16 (UPI) -- A fully configured MC-27J multi-mission tactical aircraft has completed the first phase of ground and flight testing with the Italian Air Force.
ATK of the United States and Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, builder of the aircraft, said the testing demonstrated the accuracy of ATK's GAU-23 30mm cannon, which is used on a roll-on/roll-off pallet system.
"The completion of successful testing with the Italian Air Force further validates the capabilities of the RORO gun and mission systems and demonstrates that the program is ready for fielding," the companies said. "This testing builds on previous gun accuracy flight tests done with the MC-27J at Eglin AFB (Fla.) in 2013 and will provide the aircraft with a vital capability and greater mission flexibility at an affordable cost."
The MC-27J Pretorian is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft that can be used as a transport and/or gunship. In addition to the ATK cannon, it can fire Hellfire missiles and precision-guided munitions. The aircraft is a variant of the C-27J Spartan transport plane.
ATK and Alenia Aermacchi in 2012 announced their intent to jointly develop and market the MC-27J.
The aircraft has a cruise speed of 374 miles per hour and a range of 1,000 miles with a 22,000 pound payload.