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May 24, 2012
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown said the
acquisition of the C-27J Spartan was
"very exciting news for Air Force".
"We have missed having an exten-
sive tactical air lift capability since the
Caribou retired in 2009 so we [can now]
take the next step in developing a first
rate airlift capability," CAF said.
"The C-27J will provide a great asset,
and will more than double the airfield
options available in our region should we
be required to conduct humanitarian and
disaster relief operations."
The C-27J will carry the DHC-4
Caribou's legacy of supporting frontline
personnel, according to Commander Air
Lift Group AIRCDRE Gary Martin.
"Already, the United States and Italy
have successfully deployed the Spartan
to Afghanistan," AIRCDRE Martin said.
"It is ideally suited for carrying useful
cargo to a range of environments that Air
Lift Group operates within.
"The Spartan weighs half as much
as the C-130 Hercules and has a 25 per
cent smaller ground footprint, mark-
edly increasing the number of locations
Defence can deploy to."
The C-27J and several mission sup-
port elements will be purchased through
a foreign military sales agreement with
the United States Government.
The aircraft will be operated by
35SQN, which will be re-established at
RAAF Base Richmond. The final basing
location is yet to be determined pend-
ing the outcomes of the Force Posture
In Australia, the C-27J will access
significantly more airfields than the
C- 130J without causing runway surface
damage, which can require costly repair
works, especially in remote locations.
In the immediate region -- such as
Papua New Guinea and the Pacific
Islands -- the C-27J will be able to access
about 400 airfields compared to about
200 for the C-130J, based on similar
Powered by a pair of Rolls Royce AE
2100D2 turbo-prop engines, which are
almost identical to those used by the C-
130J, and with a similar cockpit layout
and many of the same components, the
C-27J is expected to integrate well in to
the existing support framework of the C-
17A and C-130J.
AIRCDRE Martin said the cargo bay
2 pilots and 1
Empty weight 19,500kg
Cruise altitude 30,000ft
Cruising speed 370-556km/hr
Maximum Speed 583km/hr true
Cargo capacity 9550kg, 46 com-
bat loaded troops,
C-27J to lift
could accommodate vehicles or 463L
military pallets, which can be transferred
directly from a larger transport aircraft.
This commonality provides Defence
with a 'hub-and-spoke' approach to air
mobility, allowing transfer of cargo from
inter-theatre airlift aircraft, such as the
C-17A and C-130J without costly
time penalties for p
down and rebuild,
which was criti-
cal for operating
"The self-protection equipment on the
C-27J is comparable to our C-130J and
C-17As, encompassing missile warning
systems, electronic self protection, secure
communications and battlefield armour,"
AIRCDRE Martin said.
Initial logistic support, including
training for aircrew and maintenance
personnel will be through established US
A separate agreement will be made
with Alenia in order to ensure that the
RAAF can operate, maintain and modify
the aircraft throughout life-of-type.
There will be opportunity for Australian
industry involvement when the mature
maintenance program is established in
More on the C-27J in the next edition.
All members involved with the Caribou
Replacement Project over the many
years of its existence are invited to
contact SQNLDR Matthew Noblet, of
Capability Development Group, for
information on a 'celebration' to mark
the C-27J Spartan announcement.
, without costly
LOOK WHAT WE'RE LANDING: Air Lift Group will receive 10
new C-27J Spartan aircraft in 2015 to provide an extensive
tactical air lift capability for Air Force. The Spartan has almost
identical engines to the C-130J and similar self-protection
equipment, but can access significantly more airfields without
causing runway surface damage. Photo courtesy L-3 Communications
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