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C-27J Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft: Program Profile

The Coast Guard is integrating 14 C-27J Spartans into its medium range surveillance aircraft fleet to operate along with its HC-144 Ocean Sentries performing drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions. Following regeneration and missionization, the aircraft’s range, endurance, speed and payload will make it a valuable asset in addressing the Coast Guard’s maritime flight hours gap.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, 13 C-27J aircraft are being regenerated from a preserved status at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. A 14th aircraft will be transferred to the Coast Guard once it is formally accepted by the Air Force. As delivered, the C-27Js are outfitted with weather radar and communications equipment capable of supporting transport and other Coast Guard missions. The Coast Guard is working with Naval Air Systems Command to determine which additional specialized equipment should be installed to enhance and expand the aircraft’s capabilities and completed a system requirements review Aug. 10, 2016. The review indicates that the Coast Guard and NAVAIR agree on the missionization package requirements and that initial systems development can begin.

The HC-27J Asset Project Office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, is overseeing regeneration of the aircraft and certifying their airworthiness as well as conducting many of the acquisition duties, including development of Coast Guard-specific crew duties, procedures, technical manuals, curricula, and test and evaluation reporting. Air Station Sacramento reached initial operational capability for C-27Js when it received the fourth of its six planned Spartans July 1, 2016. Eleven aircraft have completed the regeneration process and are stationed at the APO or in Sacramento; all aircraft are scheduled to complete the regeneration process by 2018.

Characteristics
  • Length: 74 feet 6 inches
  • Wingspan: 94 feet 2 inches
  • Height: 31 feet 8 inches
  • Maximum Weight: 70,000 pounds
  • Cruise Speed: 290 knots true airspeed
  • Range: 2,675 nautical miles
  • Endurance: 12 hours
Features
  • Standardized Minotaur mission system across all Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft (under development)
  • Military communications
  • Multimode radar
  • Large search windows
  • Night vision goggle capabilities