Alenia C-27 Spartan (photo : d_m_b)
A contract has been signed with Alenia Aermacchi that will allow for the long tern operation, maintenance, modification and upgrade of the C-27J aircraft and support systems.
On 12 May, the Government announced the decision to purchase 10 Alenia C-27J Spartan Battlefield Airlift aircraft at a cost of $1.4 billion. The announcement also foreshadowed that Defence would seek a separate agreement with the C-27J manufacturer, Alenia, in order to ensure that the RAAF could operate, maintain and modify the aircraft throughout its planned life.
The contract, which is worth around $63 million, will also provide Defence with the ability to compete and sublicense third parties, including Australian industry, to provide the maintenance services, training services and the ability to modify the C-27J capability.
The C-27J will replace the Caribou aircraft which was retired from service in 2009 after a career spanning more than four decades. The C-27J complements the capabilities of the C-130 and C-17 aircraft and uses more common infrastructure and aircraft systems such as engines, avionics and the cargo handling systems.
The acquisition of the C-27J will significantly improve the ADF’s ability to move troops, equipment and supplies. The C-27J has the capacity to carry a significant load and still access small, sort, narrow runways that are too short for the C-130J or runways which are unable to sustain the repeated use of larger aircraft.
These aircraft will provide battlefield airlift but are also capable of conducting airlift in our region. They will be able to operate from rudimentary airstrips in
and overseas and will be able to support humanitarian missions in remote
The flexibility of the C-27J allows it to undertake a wide range of missions from delivering ammunition to front line troops to undertaking aero-medical evacuation of casualties.