US Coast Guard receives C-27s
The US Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp said he was “delighted” to receive 14 of the 21 brand-new C-27J Spartan medium-range aircraft that were consigned to the boneyard by Air Force budget cuts. “It saves us about a half a billion dollars in acquisition costs, and we’re off and running the programme now,” the Admiral said.
US Special Operations Command will receive the remaining seven aircraft soon. Papp said he expects the Coast Guard to be fully using the aircraft in fiscal year 2016, noting that the delay is due to the need to qualify instructors and thoroughly train the pilot and maintenance forces.
In competition, the C-27J originally lost out to the HC-144 Ocean Sentry due to higher lifecycle costs, the admiral said. The Coast Guard has purchased 18 HC-144s, he said, noting that he expects to end the programme at 18 aircraft.