Minister for Defence, the Honourable Stephen Smith, announced the acquisition of ten C-27J Spartans

10 May 2012

In 2012 the Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan was announced as the next Australian ‘battlefield airlifter’. The first Australian Spartan was accepted by No 35 Squadron in November 2014. The first pilots were trained on the aircraft in Texas, USA, in 2015.

The interior of a Spartan is versatile, allowing for use as a troop transport, cargo transport, medical evacuation, and a variety of airdrop types. The rear loading ramp can be opened in flight to allow airdrops. Examples of its use for non-combat operations across Australia include Exercise Christmas Drop Australia (2019) and bushfire relief roles in 2020.

With six tonnes carrying capacity, the Spartan has the capability to 'deploy a combat-equipped Army section with a G-Wagon support vehicle from Richmond to any location in Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.’ The aircraft’s range is 4,000 km.

Additionally, the Spartan has the ability to perform steep climbs and is therefore ideal for operating in mountainous areas.

The final Spartan was accepted in April 2018 and remains in active service with the RAAF today.

To learn more, download this extract from Aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force by David Richardson and Peter Wood.

Related aircraft

  • C-27J Spartan