Alenia Aermacchi has told potential industrial partners in India that it is open to having a C-27J assembly line in India that will serve more than just the Indian market.

India’s government has issued a request for information (RFI) for 56 military transport aircraft and asked that 40 be assembled in India. It has also said that those pitching for the business may work with private-sector Indian companies to fulfill the local production requirement.

Alenia Aermacchi’s head of sales for Asia and Oceania, Roberto Leva, says Alenia Aermacchi has been speaking to five or six of India’s largest industrial conglomerates in an effort to find a local partner. He says the feedback they received from the private sector was that local manufacture of 40 aircraft in India may be insufficient to achieve an adequate return on investment.

Leva says Alenia Aermacchi has responded by saying the Indian assembly plant could be used to assemble C-27Js for the whole Asia market. He also says India’s local newspapers have reported that the Indian government, in later years, may place follow-on orders for more aircraft beyond the 56, which Leva describes as the first batch.

Leva says Alenia Aermacchi has a proven track record when it comes to forming international partnerships and cites as an example Alenia’s 50% ownership of ATR and its involvement in the Eurofighter consortium.

He also made it clear, in his presentation to the news media at Aero India Feb. 7, that one of Alenia Aermacchi’s key sales messages to the Indian government is the commonality and interoperability of the C-27J with the Lockheed Martin C-130J, which the Indian air force operates. The C-27J has the same engines, almost the same avionics and the same cargo loading system as the C-130J, Leva says. This commonality means the Indian air force will have to spend much less on spare parts for the C-27J because it already has the parts stockpiled as a result of its earlier acquisition of six C-130Js, he says.

C-27J photo: Alenia Aeronautica