Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica announces [PDF] that the Moroccan Defence Ministry has placed a EUR 130 million order for 4 C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft. Industry and local sources say it also includes a 2-year training and spares package, plus options for a VIP module.
This brings the total number of firm C-27J orders received to 121 (US Army 78, Italy 12, Greece 12 + 3 option, Romania 7, Bulgaria 5 + 3 option, Morocco 4, Lithuania 3), and is the first order from a non-NATO country.
The Alkowat al malakiya al jawiya (RMAF) currently operates a fleet of about 19 C-130H/KC-130H Hercules aircraft as its mainstay transports. This order appears designed to supplement that C-130 feet with smaller short-field cargo aircraft, which don’t have the same number of flight-hours on their airframes. Later reports, however, indicate that the C-27Js will actually replace some C-130s.