May 7, 2014
Jordan takes delivery of AC235 gunship
The result of a collaboration between the nation’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau and US contractor ATK Defense, the modified AC235 is being exhibited at the 6-8 May SOFEX exhibition in Amman.
Weapons integrated with the aircraft include a side-mounted 30mm cannon, plus four Lockheed Martin AGM-114M/K Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and two pods for BAE Systems 70mm (2.75in) Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser-guided rockets, carried using fuselage-mounted pylons. The aircraft also has been equipped with a suite of countermeasures systems for self-protection.
Delivery of the aircraft – which was previously operated by the Jordanian service in the air transport role – followed extensive modifications, including the installation of an ATK mission suite with two onboard operator stations.
The Royal Jordanian Air Force had has two CN235 transports in storage, both originally built for the Spanish air force in 1990. The Jordanian service also currently flies two Airbus C295s in the medium transport role.
ATK is also teamed with Alenia Aermacchi on the development of a command and control and gunship variant of the latter’s Spartan medium transport. A fully-equipped MC-27J demonstrator – also equipped with a 30mm cannon – is scheduled to undergo a full firing campaign in the USA from next month. The Italian air force is to modify six of its C-27Js to the adapted configuration.