Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Romania Unblocks C-27J Selection

By Tom Kington, Paris

A legal challenge to Romania’s selection of the Alenia Aeronautica C-27J tactical transport aircraft has been turned down by an appeal court just days after the Pentagon selected the aircraft.

Romania started talks to acquire seven of the aircraft from the Finmeccanica unit in December, but talks were blocked when a legal challenge was issued by EADS, maker of the rival and losing C-295 turboprop.

EADS filed its complaint to Romania’s National Council for Solving Complaints, which upheld it in January, “on the grounds that the contracting authority did not respect the principles of indiscrimination, equal treatment and transparency.”

However, Alenia said in a statement that no sooner had U.S. officials decided to buy 78 of the aircraft on June 13 than a Romanian appeals court overturned the complaint, ensuring the Romanian selection would go ahead.

Including the U.S. and Romanian selections, 117 C-27Js are now likely to be ordered, with other customers including Italy, Greece, Lithuania and Bulgaria.

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