A Peruvian Air Force C-27J at the FIDAE Airshow in Santiago. The participation of Peru at the event will be used to promote the transport aircraft to the wider regional market.
Source: IHS/Gareth Jennings
Finmeccanica is showcasing its C-27J Spartan tactical airlifter at the FIDAE Airshow 2016 in Santiago, Chile, as it looks to wrestle regional market share away from its Airbus Defence and Space (DS) C295 rival.
An aircraft recently delivered to the Peruvian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea del Perú: FAP) is attending the event running at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport from 29 March to 3 April, and its Italian manufacturer is looking to use the opportunity to promote its platform as the transport aircraft of choice for Latin America's exacting requirements.
When Peru signed for its first two C-27Js in November 2013 (another pair were signed for a year later), Finmeccanica beat off strong competition from the Airbus DS C295, which was also considered. The two twin-turboprop transports have been locked in a fierce global export war over a number of years and international competitions, and this has been played out in particular earnest in Latin America.
Having already secured Peru as its South American launch customer, Finmeccanica backed this up in March 2015 when the Italian defence minister Roberta Pinotti signed an agreement with her Chilean counterpart Jorge Burgos for collaboration between the Empresa Nacional de Aeronáutica de Chile (ENAER) and Alenia Aermacchi across a range of projects, including the C-27J.
While the memorandum of understanding (MoU) is the first step of an industrial collaboration and not in itself a contract for the aircraft, it does signal Chile's intent to field the Italian tactical airlifter in the not-too-distant future. The aircraft type would replace the C212 Aviocar, which presents a significant improvement in terms of range and payload.
In terms of the wider regional transport requirements so far competed and declared, Peru has opted to go with the C-27J, while Brazil, Chile (in the maritime patrol role), Colombia, and Ecuador have decided instead to procure the C-27J.