Afghanistan's first G222 on track to fly during July

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By Craig Hoyle

Afghanistan's first of 18 refurbished and modernised Alenia Aeronautica G222 tactical transports is on track to fly in late July, having been rolled out near Naples in Italy earlier this month.

To be delivered to the Afghan National Army Air Corps from late September, the G222s were built between 1977 and 1985 and delivered to the Italian air force, which has partially replaced the type with 12 C-27J Spartans.

The surplus airframes were acquired for Afghanistan under a September 2008 contract worth $287 million signed by the US Air Force. They are now receiving new avionics and self-protection equipment at Alenia Aeronautica's Capodichino site, with two to also be configured for VIP transport duties. Deliveries are due for completion in mid-2011.

© Alenia Aeronautica

"These 18 G222 aircraft will give the reconstructed Afghan air force a great advantage in terms of the security and the stability of the region," says Giuseppe Giordo, chief executive of Alenia North America.

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