C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft

By Gourley, Scott R. | Army, December 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft


Gourley, Scott R., Army


Recent experiences in overseas combat operations have demonstrated that America needs an improved capability for medium airlift inside combat theaters and in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. warfighters will soon experience that improved intratheater airlift capability through the recently awarded Joint cargo aircraft (JCA) program.

JCA began as an "Army-only" future cargo aircraft (FCA) studies program in the late 1990s. According to Army planners, the resulting "F-series" studies recognized a gap in the ability to meet U.S. Army direct-support requirements for time-sensitive, missioncritical cargo and passenger delivery to service elements. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force was also exploring its own capabilities in a similar tactical arena under a program called the light cargo aircraft (LCA).

After a Joint requirements oversight council approved an initial capabilities document (and validated the requirements to fill the operational gap) in March 2005, a December 2005 program decision memorandum directed the merging of the Army FCA and the Air Force LCA programs into a single Joint service JCA program, with acquisition responsibilities placed under a Joint program office. In June 2006, the Army Vice Chief of Staff and the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff signed a JCA memorandum of agreement, and in October of that year the JCA Joint Program Office (JPO) stood up at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.

In their March 2007 testimony before the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, Lt. Gen. John M. Curran, who was deputy commanding general, Futures and director, U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center, and Maj. Gen.(P) Jeffrey A. Sorenson, who was then the deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, Office of the Assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, focused on the cooperative progress made by the JPO and the continuing need to fill the intratheater lift gap.

"In light of the great progress and successes we have made with respect to the Joint program, it is appropriate for the JPO to execute the appropriated funding in support of the JCA acquisition strategy as approved by [the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics)]. ... The global war on terrorism has only confirmed our need for this capability as we have attempted to fill this gap with a marginal solution using an inadequate platform, the C-23 Sherpa, and an inappropriate use of the CH-47 Chinook," their combined statement read.

Following a competitive acquisition process, the JCA contract was awarded in mid-June 2007 to an industry team that included L-3 Communications' Integrated Systems (L-3/IS) Group, Alenia North America (a Finmeccanica company), Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Global Military Aircraft Systems. According to Alison Hartley, senior vice president of Business Development with L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, the first two aircraft are on order for delivery in September and November 2008.

The team had offered the C-27J Spartan for their JCA solution, broadly characterizing the platform as "a multimission cargo aircraft that will fill the current capability gap in Joint aerial delivery based on its ability to transport critical cargo and personnel, self-deploy over strategic distances, land in austere locations, operate autonomously and provide routine and combat aerial sustainment to the Joint force."

Furthermore, according to the Joint statement, "The C-27J will replace the U.S. Army's C-23 Sherpas, C-26 and various C-12 aircraft, and will augment the U.S. Air Force's existing fleet of intratheater airlifters. The aircraft will play a key role in providing responsive aerial sustainment, critical resupply, medevac, troop transport, airdrop operations, humanitarian assistance and missions in support of homeland security."

With a wingspan of 94.16 feet and a nose-to-tail length of 74.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?