Zambia appears to be the previously undisclosed customer for two Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft that were ordered in 2015. It is also expecting other aircraft this year.
According to the Lusaka Times, Deputy Commander of the Zambia Air Force David Muma said the two C-27Js will be delivered in the first quarter of 2018.
He was speaking on 15 December at an annual ball at Livingstone Air Base. He said other acquisitions were on the way and thanked the government for modernising the Zambia Air Force through the acquisition of aircraft, air defence equipment and construction of support infrastructure.
“We recently received 450 unmanned aerial vehicles or drones which are currently based at ZAF Mumbwa air force base. The acquisition of the drones will enhance our surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and in the first quarter of 2018, two Spartan aircraft will be delivered and this will increase the flying capacity of air transport support command,” he said.
He said ZAF was in the process of establishing a school of excellence which was to include the delivery of 15 aircraft for training purposes.
In September 2015 Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi announced that an undisclosed African air force had ordered two C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, to become the third African customer after Chad and Morocco. The two aircraft were originally scheduled to be delivered from 2017.
The Spartan was developed from the G.222/C-27A, using the engines and systems of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules to provide 30% lower operating costs than the G.222 and 35% greater range. It first flew on September 24, 1999.
The Spartan offers the ability to carry up to 60 troops in high density configuration and a maximum of 46 paratroopers. In the medical role 36 stretchers and six attendants can be carried. Normal payload is 9 000 kg for the C-27J, although maximum payload is more than 10 tons.