The Italian manufacturer Leonardo finalizes testing the new generation of C-27J Spartan multi-mission military transport aircraft. The latest iteration features new avionics and advanced aerodynamic devices aimed at improving the performance of the transport plane.

The new C-27J Spartan, unveiled in a dark livery, now sports winglets on its wingtips. The new devices reduce the induced drag and increase the Maximum Take-Off Weight of the aircraft by 1 ton (2,200 pounds). “In terms of performance, the new winglets offer us several advantages in terms of aircraft controllability, in particular flying at slow speeds, as well as better payload capability also in hot and high conditions,” explains Matteo Maurizio, the test pilot of the program.

Changes are not only visible on the exterior. The next-generation C27J also houses a modernized cockpit equipped with new displays and an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system. The aircraft was also updated to comply with current air traffic control regulations, with a data link and transponder with ADS-B functionality. New safety features include a collision warning system, an ILS approach system, and a video-based warning system before a collision with the terrain. “The enhanced C-27J brings the unrivaled quality and capabilities of the Spartan to the next, higher level,” claims Marco Zoff, Leonardo Aircraft Division’s Managing Director in a statement. “Its operators will benefit from modern avionics, increased performance, and efficiency.” 

The first C-27J in the new configuration will be delivered to an undisclosed customer in 2021.