By Craig Hoyle
Romania will receive its first of seven Alenia Aeronautica C-27J Spartan tactical transports in late 2008, following the delayed confirmation of a €217 million ($318 million) deal. Signed in Bucharest on 7 December, the contract also covers the provision of pilot training and logistics support services, plus the delivery of a flight simulator, says the Finmeccanica company.
The C-27J was selected in November 2006 to replace the Romanian air force’s Antonov An-24/26s. Bucharest had initially hoped to begin acceptance trials with its first Spartan this month, but contract signature was delayed by almost a year following a legal challenge mounted by losing bidder EADS Casa, which had offered its C-295 to meet the requirement.
Romania’s final confirmation of the deal makes it the sixth nation to order the C-27J, with 12 having been delivered so far to Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Lithuania, according to Flight’s MiliCAS database. The type has also been selected for the US Air Force/Army Joint Cargo Aircraft project, and Alenia Aeronautica says its order book for the type now stands at 117.