L-3 Communications has been awarded a $2.04bn contract to supply aircraft to the US Army and Air Force.

In conjunction with Italy-based Alenia North America, Boeing and Global Military Aircraft Systems, L-3 is expected to supply a minimum of 78 C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) to the US armed services.

The C-27J Spartan is a cargo aircraft designed to provide support for US troops by transporting critical cargo and personnel on the battlefield. Its numerous functions will include carrying out airdrop operations, giving humanitarian assistance and transporting military casualties.

As well as adding to the US Air Force’s existing fleet of airlifters, the new JCA will replace the US Army’s C-23 Sherpas, C-26 and some C-12 aircraft.