The C-27J twin-engine tactical transport plane

08 July 2020

C-27J Spartans produced by Leonardo and in service with the air forces of nine countries – Italy, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Mexico, Peru and the United States – have been flying constantly since March to combat the current Covid-19 emergency. The aircraft have been used to repatriate citizens unable to travel home to these countries due to the lockdown, transport highly infectious patients in special bio-containment stretchers, and carry teams of medical specialists, critical medical equipment and protective devices, especially in the USA and Latin America.

The C-27J twin-engine tactical transport plane has proved its great flexibility and efficiency supporting missions in the fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic. Capable of landing practically anywhere - even in small airports with unprepared landing strips close to the areas most affected by the emergency - in any conditions, even without ground support thanks to an onboard Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), the Spartan takes critical materials right where they are needed, and no matter what the weight or volume of the cargo, thanks to its roomy cargo compartment. In Peru and Mexico, the C-27J is playing a vital role quickly reaching remote areas such as the Amazon with a high payload of men and materials, something that would be impossible with any other aircraft. 

Rapid reconfiguration of the cargo compartment to employ the C-27J for cargo transport and medical evacuation missions and its high degree of autonomy have allowed European Spartan operators to rapidly repatriate their citizens (Bulgaria, Slovakia), transport patients with bio-containment (Romania, Italy), and transport medical equipment, ventilators, personal protective devices, screening tests, and specialised medical staff across both the European Union and the USA.

Leonardo has also made a great effort to support the Italian Civil Guard during the Covid-19 emergency, with intensive use in Italy and abroad of a new C-27J recently produced by the company’s Aircraft Division. 

This is not the first time the C-27J has stood out for its excellent performance providing support in medical and humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and fires, as recently demonstrated in Romania, Peru and Australia, where the Spartans of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flew under truly extreme conditions.