The MC-27J Spartan: The Baddest Gunship the USAF Will Never Fly

The MC-27J Spartan: The Baddest Gunship the USAF Will Never Fly

After a decade of deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq, the wings are literally falling off the USAFs aging fleet of AC-130s. The Air Force thought about upgrading them to the new MC-27J Spartan multi-purpose gunship—but budget cuts nixed that idea. The Airmen will miss out on quite a machine.The Spartan is a 60-troop multipurpose cargo plane, developed by Italys Alenia Aermacchi over the last year, and very similar in design to the C-27A currently in service. It is primarily a tactical cargo plane, popular among the special forces for its ability to take off on short runways, fast transfer speed, and 3,200 NMI range. But the MC-27J also features a RO/RO roll on/roll off, pallet-based option system that allows it to be employed on a variety of missions.Like choosing the the Luxury versus Sport package on a 5-series BMW, the Spartan can be modified to suit a particular mission type. Unlike the 5-Series, however, the RO/RO system allows the Spartan to change between various option packages—command and control; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR; communications broadcast; gunship—all at the drop of a hat. This allows military forces to rapidly respond to threats, easily switching from anti-terrorism operations to civilian evacuations within a four-hour window. Whats more, the palletized system, which easily installs from the rear cargo bay, increases each planes operational flexibility and significantly decreases procurement and maintenance costs for the fleet as a whole.

via The MC-27J Spartan: The Baddest Gunship the USAF Will Never Fly.

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