The C-27J Spartan battlefield air lifter will improve Air Force’s ability to move people, equipment and supplies in Australia and our region. With the capacity to carry significant loads and still land on airstrips that are not suited for the C-130J Hercules, the C-27J Spartan will undertake a range of missions.
The 10 C-27J Spartans will be equipped with missile warning systems, electronic self-protection and battlefield armour allowing them to operate freely in high-threat environments.
The aircraft will be based initially at RAAF Base Richmond when they are delivered in 2015, until facilities at their permanent home at RAAF Base Amberley are completed.
The C-27J complements the capabilities of the current C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft and uses common C-130J Hercules infrastructure and aircraft systems such as engines, avionics and the cargo handling systems.
The new aircraft will provide battlefield airlift but are also capable of conducting airlift in our region. They can operate from rudimentary airstrips in Australia and overseas and can support humanitarian missions in remote locations.
In our region, the C-27J can access over 1900 airfields compared to around 500 for the C-130 Hercules aircraft. Within Australia, the C-27J can access over 400 airfields compared to around 200 for the C-130J Hercules aircraft.
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.
Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the C-27J is expected in late 2016.