The Italian air force has signed a long-awaited contract covering a first batch of five C-27J Spartan airlifters jointly produced by Finmeccanica/Alenia Aeronautica and Lockheed Martin. The aircraft, which will be equipped with inflight refueling systems, head-up cockpit displays and combat self-protection systems, are valued at $186 million, including five years of operational support and spare parts, according to company officials. First delivery is scheduled for 2005 to Pisa-based 46th ...

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