ITALIANS OFFER US A MILITARY AIRCRAFT FOR EUR25MN
One of the most state-of-the-art and fuel-saving military transport airplanes of a new generation, C-27J Spartan, was presented on Thursady to experts of Bulgaria's Military Air Forces (MAF) at the Sofia Airport. The aircraft has been produced by the Italian company Alenia Aeronautica in cooperation with the US Lockheed Martin. In front of the BANKER weekly Alenia Aeronautica's Director for International Marketing Development Paolo Posessere said that the cheapest model of the aircraft costs about EUR25MN. The price depends both on the number of ordered aircraft and on the additional equipment that could be assemled to the place on the order of the client, Mr. Posessere specified. However, he explained that the company has not yet held negotiations with the Bulgarian Government about the possible reequipment of Bulgaria's MAF with the new aircraft. The first series are intended for the MAF of Italy and Greece. Bulgaria's southern neighbour has ordered 12 military transport planes. Bulgarian experts have voiced they opinion that the aircraft's price is very advantageous, considering the opportunities of the plane. One of the biggest assets of the airplane is its very high manoeuvrability and capability to take off and land on very short tracks, Spartan's pilot Gian Luca Evangelista pointed out. Moreover, the aircraft can land on uneven tracks (grass terrains, etc.) and unload without stopping, which is very convenient in wartime, the pilot added. Despite its small size for a military airplane (22.7 m long and almost 10 m high), the Italian aircraft can transport a small helicopter, a military jeep (Hammer), up to 46 parachuters, or 62 entirely equipped soldiers, as well as up to five standard NATO-pallets. Different cargo, however, requires various arrangement of the plane's interior. The maximum loading capacity of the aircraft is 9 tons.