Spartans in Orange

The US Coast Guard will receive all 14 of the Air National Guard’s C-27J Spartans remaining in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., manufacturer Alenia announced this week. Congress approved the intra-service transfer deal in the 2014 defense authorization bill, which President Obama signed late last month. “The C-27J will provide the USCG with greater range, endurance, speed, and payload capacity than other twin turboprops in its inventory, and the capability to perform both medium and long-range missions,” said Alenia North America President and CEO Benjamin Stone. The aircraft will enter service in the maritime patrol, counter narcotics, and search roles within six months to a year. All 14 aircraft eventually will be upgraded with search radar and specialized mission sensors. Seven of the 21 divested airframes already have been assigned to US Special Operations Command. In exchange for the new aircraft, USCG will transfer seven of its HC-130s to the US Forest Service for conversion to firefighting tankers.