Air Transportation: Afghan Air Corps Goes Italian


October3, 2008:  The Afghan Air Corps is receiving 18 used C-27A transports, which are being obtained by the U.S. from the Italian Air Force, for $16 million each. The C-27A is two engine, medium range transport, designed to fly into small airfields at high altitudes. This 28 ton aircraft can carry six tons (or 34 passengers) for up to 2,500 kilometers and land on smaller airfields than the C-130 can handle. The U.S. Air Force bought ten C-27As in the 1990s, but took them out of service because it was cheaper to fly stuff in the larger C-130. At least until the air force had to operate in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army and Air Force have since bought an updated (with improved electronics) version, the C-27J (a joint U.S./Italian upgrade of the Italian G-222) for their own use. Two of the Afghan C-27As will be outfitted as VIP transports, for the Afghan president and other senior officials.


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