Dec 18, 2013

U.S. Government Agencies Fighting Over Who Gets C-27J Aircraft/C-295 offerd to Canada

The C-27J tactical airlifter, once a castoff from the USAF, has become a hot commodity in the U.S. government’s aircraft fleet.
The USAF’s decision early this year to mothball its 21 brand-new, twin-engine C-27Js—labeling the Alenia Aermacchi transports a niche capability too expensive to sustain alongside its other airlifters—triggered an interagency squabble between the U.S. Forest Service, bent on using them as much-needed firefighting tankers, and the U.S. Coast Guard, which was intent on employing them to plug a gap in maritime patrol capability.
Seven of those aircraft have are going to be dedicate to Army Special Operations Command for use in parachute-aided free-fall training, replacing aging CASA C212.
With the Coast Guard seeking 14 aircraft and the Forest Service seven, officials at the Pentagon, the Homeland Security Department and the Agriculture Department were left haggling over the allocation.
Meanwhile, Airbus Military has put out this news release on its C295 aircraft, which like the C-27J, is a contender for the RCAF’s FWSAR program. The company noted that it had completed a second round of tests of its prototype C295 firefighting aircraft which will provide detailed data on the performance of its water dropping system.
Following earlier testing of the system, the company conducted seven water drops at a special range near Cordoba, Spain using ground equipment designed to measure the dispersal pattern of the water.
The trials were successfully completed and showed good initial promise, confirming the aircraft’s highly satisfactory handling during the drop procedure. In the coming weeks the data will be examined in detail to enable decisions to be taken on the final configuration of the C295 firefighter.
In the trials the aircraft carried one 3,500 litre tank and the water was gravity-ejected through two dispensers in the belly.

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