|AC-27 with a 30mm sounds like a good idea. Maybe they could add a pod of Viper Strikes for good measure. The question I have is will they be able to free up any of the CJ-27 production for this purpose?
Will JCA become the next blue gunship?
By Erik Holmes - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Sep 28, 2007 5:32:57 EDT
The Air Force is eyeing the Joint Cargo Aircraft for more than just hauling pallets, the service’s top uniformed leader said Monday.
Throw a couple guns on there, and you’ve got a minigunship.
“We’ve ... talked in terms of looking at a variant of this airplane that looks a lot like a gunship with a 30mm gun,” Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley told reporters.
Speaking at the Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Moseley said the Air Force is taking the 40mm and 25mm guns out of its AC-130U gunships and replacing them with 30mm guns.
“If that works,” Moseley said, “then could it be adapted to this airplane to provide additional capacity and capability to Special Ops Command?”
AC-130s have proved effective in the fight against terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there are only 25 of them in the Air Force’s inventory.
The Joint Cargo Aircraft is a C-27 Spartan that will be built by a team comprising L-3, Boeing and Alenia Aeronautica, a unit of the Italian aeronautics and defense company Finmeccanica.
The current contract is for 40 planes through 2011, but the president's fiscal 2008 budget lays out purchases through fiscal 2013, for a total of 78 aircraft between the Army and the Air Force.