The European Defence Agency recently held a meeting with European C-27J Spartan operators in order to identify potential solutions to support this user community.
Representatives from the community of European C-27J users attended this meeting which was held last month at the European Defence Agency (EDA) premises in Brussels. Bulgaria, Italy, Romania as well as Greece and Lithuania currently operate the C-27J Spartan twin-engine tactical transport aircraft. “EDA is an ideal forum to harmonise requirements of the European C-27J community”, Pete Round, EDA Capability, Armament and Technology Director, stresses. “Together with Member States, we can identify ways to enhance the global C-27J capability through a variety of pooling & sharing initiatives”, he adds. "It also fits perfectly in the EATF partnership signed in 2011 by 20 Member States."
Over the course of the meeting, EDA put forward three main domains in which cooperation could yield significant benefits for the European C-27J user community: training, logistics and operations. Various ideas were put on the table, such as the pooling of C-27J simulators, the sharing of spare parts or the optimisation of the different mission kits currently used by Member States for their aircraft (fire-fighting, command and control, medical evacuation, etc.)
Participants agreed to meet again early in 2015 to discuss the way forward and assess the potential for joining existing EDA Pooling & Sharing mechanisms, such as the “Sharing of Spare Parts” project. Meanwhile, EDA stands ready to facilitate the establishment of relevant ad hoc projects in accordance with the “à la carte“ mindset of the Agency.
European C-27J users have already been involved in other EDA initiatives, such as the EATT (European Air Transport Training) series of exercises. Earlier this year, Lithuania and Bulgaria deployed C-27Js as part of EATT14, which was held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
This EDA initiative aims to complement existing cooperative efforts such as the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, the Spartan User Group, which also gathers non-European C-27J users, and the European Air Transport Command (EATC) which was recently joined by Italy who offered to “pool” some of its C-27Js through this operational command.