Italy’s Alenia introduced a new version of the C-27J airlifter, the MC-27J gunship, at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show outside of London this week. “The MC-27J is not just a gunship, but a battlefield tested platform equipped with proven sensors, communications, and weapons suite able to execute a wide range of customer-driven missions,” states the company’s July 9 release. Alenia will jointly produce and market the MC-27J with ATK, which is providing the aircraft’s newly developed palletized roll-on/roll-off weapons system. Also, Boeing announced a partnership with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer on July 10 to integrate new weapons on the latter’s A-29 Super Tucano light-attack platform. That same day, the Chicago-based aerospace giant also introduced a medium-sized maritime surveillance aircraft concept. The company said it expects to have more details on the concept by year’s end. Also, Lockheed Martin disclosed on July 9 that it signed an agreement authorizing Britain’s Marshall Aerospace to become the world’s first commercial company to install C-130 center wing boxes.
While the Air Force is keeping a seemingly optimistic outlook about the future of its MH-139 Grey Wolf fleet, despite problems receiving FAA certification, another of the service’s helicopter programs is being prematurely curtailed—and officials are already considering what might come next.