At the Dubai Airshow held recently, the Italian Air Force signed an agreement with the Italian aerospace major Alenia Aermacchi to develop a specialised version of the MC-27J tactical airlift aircraft. The basic version i.e. the C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft with a range of over 860 nautical miles. Under the agreement, Alenia Aermacchi will execute the project for the Italian Air Force in two phases.
In the first phase, the company will develop a prototype of the Praetorian, a modified MC-27J equipped with mission systems, C3ISR and fire systems. In the second phase, the company will provide related logistic support. The Italian Air Force also plans to convert three C-27Js currently in service into the Prateorian configuration by 2016. All of the Praetorian aircraft will be equipped with command-and-control equipment, palletised cargo systems and fire support systems.