ATK has delivered the first of two CASA—now Airbus—C235 gunships to the Jordanian armed forces.
ATK announced that the first aircraft had arrived in country on May 1, in readiness for it to be displayed at the SOFEX 2014 trade show at the King Abdullah I air base near Amman on May 6-8.
The project, contracted by and managed in conjunction with the Amman-based King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), was launched in February 2011 and is aimed at providing a gunship capability for Jordanian special forces. The two aircraft—understood to be originally from the Spanish air force—have been heavily modified, with an electro-optical targeting system and laser designator, a self-protection suite, a synthetic aperture radar and the ability to launch unguided rockets and Hellfire missiles. A traversable M230 30-mm cannon has been mounted inside the rear cabin, and can be controlled and aimed from the aircraft’s installed mission system.
The delivery follows sensor and weapons testing, as well as what ATK call “accuracy validation” completed in the U.S. during March.
The aircraft had originally been due for delivery during the late spring of 2013.
The delivery comes days after first flight of ATK’s other gunship program, the development of the MC-27J Praetorian variant of the C-27J Spartan airlifter in conjunction with Alenia for the Italian air force.