AC-XX Gunship Lite Prototype: A C-27J “Baby Spooky”

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1
Wouldn't it be nice if we could get some of these...

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/AC-XX-Gunship-Lite-A-C-27J-Baby-Spooky-05001/

Aviation Week’s aerospace daily and defense report notes that the Pentagon’s 2008 budget reprogramming request includes $32 million from Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), in order to buy a C-27J and convert it into a small prototype AC-XX gunship, using “proven/known” weapons and systems. Additions are certain to include defensive systems, electro-optical surveillance and targeting turrets, flight and/or ground surveillance radars, weapons, and computerized control systems. Based on known airframe and conversion costs for the C-27J and other platforms, further funding for the AC-XX effort will almost certainly be required in FY 2010.

AFSOC has become concerned about its AC-130 gunships’ long-term survivability, and is investigating a number of options [PDF format] including smaller aircraft and even stealth designs. The C-27J is certainly smaller, and an AC-27J would trade less firepower for the ability to operate from smaller airstrips closer to the action. It can also serve as a systems integration platform to help define the current state of the art, without sidelining in-demand AC-130s for a long refit period.

All of which may help to explain why AFSOC, who fields the $100+ million AC-130H/U gunships based on the larger C-130 Hercules tactical transport, also wants $11.5 million to execute an AC-XX feasibility study and engineering analyses. Overall:

“This prototype will serve as a risk mitigation effort to field a new platform to operate in austere locations, with increased operational flexibility and a smaller support tail of manpower and logistics.”
 
#2
great idea - all we need now is some money!!!!!!
 
#5
we could all have a colective look down the back of the sofa
 
#6
ark-angel said:
we could all have a colective look down the back of the sofa
We could cancel a two week long athletics event and use the £9,300,000,000 saved.

edit: amount wrong.
 
#9
I was a fan of the G222 before the improved version became the C27J. I would like us to buy it to provide an efficient means of carrying small loads and drops onto small DZs. We could use it to meet the “good European” requirement (it is part Italian) enabling us to ditch the A400 and get more C17s. It has a high level of commonality with the C130J and its adoption by the USA will make it a very common type. If the AC27J happens that is “icing on the cake.”
 
#10
Mobat said:
I was a fan of the G222 before the improved version became the C27J. I would like us to buy it to provide an efficient means of carrying small loads and drops onto small DZs. We could use it to meet the “good European” requirement (it is part Italian) enabling us to ditch the A400 and get more C17s. It has a high level of commonality with the C130J and its adoption by the USA will make it a very common type. If the AC27J happens that is “icing on the cake.”
What advantages does it offer over a C130J? Seems to be roughly a 2/3 scale C130 in terms of payload etc.

It does seem to be very cheap at $2.5M each according to this:
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123057181

Compared with $66.5M for a C130J :omfg:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/c-130j.htm

If those numbers are correct I can see the attraction!
 
#12
Mr Happy said:
Wouldn't it be nice if we could get some of these...

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/AC-XX-Gunship-Lite-A-C-27J-Baby-Spooky-05001/

Aviation Week’s aerospace daily and defense report notes that the Pentagon’s 2008 budget reprogramming request includes $32 million from Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), in order to buy a C-27J and convert it into a small prototype AC-XX gunship, using “proven/known” weapons and systems. Additions are certain to include defensive systems, electro-optical surveillance and targeting turrets, flight and/or ground surveillance radars, weapons, and computerized control systems. Based on known airframe and conversion costs for the C-27J and other platforms, further funding for the AC-XX effort will almost certainly be required in FY 2010.

AFSOC has become concerned about its AC-130 gunships’ long-term survivability, and is investigating a number of options [PDF format] including smaller aircraft and even stealth designs. The C-27J is certainly smaller, and an AC-27J would trade less firepower for the ability to operate from smaller airstrips closer to the action. It can also serve as a systems integration platform to help define the current state of the art, without sidelining in-demand AC-130s for a long refit period.

All of which may help to explain why AFSOC, who fields the $100+ million AC-130H/U gunships based on the larger C-130 Hercules tactical transport, also wants $11.5 million to execute an AC-XX feasibility study and engineering analyses. Overall:

“This prototype will serve as a risk mitigation effort to field a new platform to operate in austere locations, with increased operational flexibility and a smaller support tail of manpower and logistics.”
Is this the one built by Italian Company Alenia Aeronatical (Excuse Spelling) if so I saw this aircraft a few years back and it is a very well equipped very good plat form and I can certainly se the advantage of it and can see SF Regts acquiring it
 
#13
First problem, even if 'they' thought about buying it, by the time it's been;
1. Through 'x'(1) committee stages.
2. Modded
3. Changed.
4. Cancelled.
5. Reinstated.
6. Modded.
7. Re-designed to Crab/SF requirements
8. Finally ordered in a badly thought out Puzzle Palace contract.
9. Re-modded.
10. Delivered, late, overbudget and with no crews to man it.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that the estimate of 30 years in Sandpit 2 is vaguely accurate(!), I would estimate an in service date of Jan 2020(2)

(1) Where x = any number between 1 and 10
(2) End of month natch, it allows for late Christmas/New year parties to be finished.
 
#14
EX_STAB said:
Mobat said:
I was a fan of the G222 before the improved version became the C27J. I would like us to buy it to provide an efficient means of carrying small loads and drops onto small DZs. We could use it to meet the “good European” requirement (it is part Italian) enabling us to ditch the A400 and get more C17s. It has a high level of commonality with the C130J and its adoption by the USA will make it a very common type. If the AC27J happens that is “icing on the cake.”
What advantages does it offer over a C130J? Seems to be roughly a 2/3 scale C130 in terms of payload etc.

It does seem to be very cheap at $2.5M each according to this:
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123057181

Compared with $66.5M for a C130J :omfg:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/c-130j.htm

If those numbers are correct I can see the attraction!
I think you have slipped the decimal point. A $2.04 billion contract for 78 aircraft works out at $26 million each. Given that this includes “pilot and loadmaster training and contractor logistics support for the Army and Air Force” that seems reasonable.

The advantage is that it is cheaper to buy and operate than the C130 and so you can buy more aircraft and fly more sorties for the same money. Granted, if your C130s are full then you would need two C27s to replace each C130, however, C130s are often not full and hence the advantage of having C27s.

Other advantages are than it can use slightly smaller landing strips, it can drop its entire contents onto a shorter DZ and if the enemy destroys one you loose less.
 
#15
The C-27J fills the gap between Chinooks and C-130s. It has a payload similar to Chinooks but being fixed winged, it's cheaper and easier to operate. An aircraft like this would take a lot of transporting jobs off the Chinook fleet, not to mention ground convoys. Frees the Chinook for battlefield roles. It also shares the same avionics and engines as the C-130Js.

Here's what it's supposedly replacing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4dwIVKlDyY
 
#16
Mobat said:
EX_STAB said:
Mobat said:
I was a fan of the G222 before the improved version became the C27J. I would like us to buy it to provide an efficient means of carrying small loads and drops onto small DZs. We could use it to meet the “good European” requirement (it is part Italian) enabling us to ditch the A400 and get more C17s. It has a high level of commonality with the C130J and its adoption by the USA will make it a very common type. If the AC27J happens that is “icing on the cake.”
What advantages does it offer over a C130J? Seems to be roughly a 2/3 scale C130 in terms of payload etc.

It does seem to be very cheap at $2.5M each according to this:
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123057181

Compared with $66.5M for a C130J :omfg:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/c-130j.htm

If those numbers are correct I can see the attraction!
I think you have slipped the decimal point. A $2.04 billion contract for 78 aircraft works out at $26 million each. Given that this includes “pilot and loadmaster training and contractor logistics support for the Army and Air Force” that seems reasonable.

The advantage is that it is cheaper to buy and operate than the C130 and so you can buy more aircraft and fly more sorties for the same money. Granted, if your C130s are full then you would need two C27s to replace each C130, however, C130s are often not full and hence the advantage of having C27s.

Other advantages are than it can use slightly smaller landing strips, it can drop its entire contents onto a shorter DZ and if the enemy destroys one you loose less.
You are correct.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#17
Also from the same source:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com...re-5011?camp=newsletter&src=did&type=textlink

July 30/07: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces Israel’s request for 9 stretched C-130J-30 aircraft, which will replace some of the aging C-130 aircraft that Israel made famous in its 1976 commando raid at Entebbe, Uganda. Appropriately, the new aircraft will also contain a number of features associated with the new HC/MC-130J Special Forces aircraft bought by India and the USA.

The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX, and offset agreements are expected, but they will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractors. Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Israel involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews, support, program management, and training over a period of up to 5 years.

The estimated cost is $1.9 billion, and the exact items will include:

9 Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 United States Air Force (USAF) baseline aircraft including USAF baseline equipment and Block 7.0 Software. This implies the inclusion of engines, defensive equipment, et. al.
6 Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 spare engines (implies 36 engines included in C-130J-30s)
9 of BAE’s AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems (includes 3 spares)
9 of BAE’s AN/ALR-56M Advanced Radar Warning Receivers (includes 3 spares)
9 of ATK’s AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing Systems (includes 3 spares)
9 of FLIR Systems’ AN/AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III Special Operations Suites (includes 3 spares). This is a day/night surveillance and laser targeting turret.
4 spare AN/ARC-210 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS)
10 spare Secure Voice Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency Radios
4 spare Secure Voice High Frequency Radios
3 spare AN/AAR-222 SINCGARS and Key Gen (KV-10) Systems
1 KIV-119 Non-standard Communication/COMSEC equipment
2 ARC-210 Non-standard Communication/COMSEC equipment
10 External Pylons and Fuel Tanks
5 Internal Israeli Tank Modification Kits
The contract also includes defensive equipment, spare and repair parts, configurations updates, communications security equipment and radios, integration studies, support equipment, aircraft ferry and tanker support, repair and return, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support.
 

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