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The Leonardo C-27J Spartan is essentially a heavily modernised and more powerful version of the Aeritalia G.222 which was known as the C-27A in the USA. Co-developed between Alenia Aermacchi (now part of Leonardo) and Lockheed Martin, this medium tactical transport aircraft features the same engines as the C-130J Hercules and a modern glass cockpit. Deliveries to the Italian Air Force began in 2006 following a first flight in 1999 and since then the C-27J has been delivered to over 15 other nations including Australia and the USA.
Lithuania received their first of three Spartans during 2006 as part of a wider modernisation of its air forces capabilities and provide Lithuania's transport capability alongside a pair of Let L-410 Turbolets. Lithuanian Spartan's have been used on a number of NATO missions since entering service including participating in a deployment to Afghanistan and more recently delivering aid to Ukraine.
Lithuania have attended RIAT with a C-27J numerous times over the past decade and are once again sending an example to this year's Air Tattoo for static display. The aircraft appearing on static display at this year's Air Tattoo is being provided by the Transporto Eskadrile from Šiauliai International Airport. Photo Credit: Peter March