Alenia Aeronautica has recently signed a contract with the Lithuanian armed forces worth about EUR 10 million to provide logistics support to the Lithuanian air force's C-27J aircraft.
The contract is for the supply of logistics support services to the client over a period of three years, covering the entire fleet of three C-27J aircraft operated by the Lithuanian Air Force. As well as providing the client with spare parts and ground support services, Alenia Aeronautica will also offer a specific on-site assistance service.
In 2006, the Lithuanian armed forces signed a contract with Alenia Aeronautica for the supply of three C-27Js. This aircraft was selected as part of a call for tenders for the replacement of the fleet of Soviet-built twin-engined An-26 aircraft in service with the Lithuanian Air Force. Delivery of the aircraft was completed in October 2009.
The planes have already been used extensively for transporting troops and equipment, including outside Lithuania's borders, as part of international and NATO operations, as well as in support of Lithuanian troops in Afghanistan.
Alenia Aeronautica has also completed the offset programme required by the supply contract for the three C-27J aircraft five years ahead of schedule.
The offset programme offered a wide range of opportunities for Lithuania. The projects covered by the programme naturally included direct offset activities, such as supply of equipment, technical support and training related to the C-27J for the benefit of the Lithuanian air force, improving the effectiveness of its fleet. Furthermore, Lithuanian research centres were involved in joint research and development projects with Italian research centres. Lithuanian companies also provided high-tech products and services, especially in the area of information technology. The Alenia offset programme brought enhanced technologies to Lithuania, for example by introducing enhanced telemedicine equipment and capabilities to hospitals.
Culture has not been overlooked. Thanks to Alenia, Lithuania was the official guest country at the International Book Fair in Turin, where Lithuanian culture was showcased for the international cultural community.
Giuseppe Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aeronautica and Alenia Aermacchi, and the head of Finmeccanica's Aeronautics division, said: "The recent signing of the logistics support contract, and the completion of the offset commitments made to our Lithuanian client, underline the importance of offering clients high-quality, ever more integrated services over the shortest possible timescale."
The operational capabilities of the C-27J - the only aircraft in its class designed specifically for tactical transport - were a factor in Lithuania's decision. The C-27J offers: unique landing and takeoff capabilities, even from semi-prepared runways; complete autonomy thanks to its auxiliary power unit (APU); full interoperability with other NATO air force aircraft, thanks to its large loading bay that allows the use of standard NATO pallets; and state-of-the-art avionics and self-defence systems for operating in even the most difficult theatres.
As well as being used by the Lithuanian air force, the C-27J has already been ordered by the Italian, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, US, Moroccan, and Mexican air forces. It has also been chosen by the Slovakian air force.
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