Air Force Spartans prepare for glory
21 December 2014
Royal Australian Air Force personnel have commenced training on the C-27J Spartan Battlefield Airlifter in the United States after the the first two aircraft were transferred to the Australian register.
Air Force Director General Capability Planning Air Commodore Mike Kitcher said the first Spartans were expected in Australia by mid-2015.
“A total of 10 aircraft will be delivered over the next two years, operated by No. 35 Squadron initially from RAAF Base Richmond,” AIRCDRE Kitcher said.
“The C-27J will integrate seamlessly with existing Defence transports such as Army’s CH-47 Chinooks and Air Force’s C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster III.”
Commander of Air Mobility Group Air Commodore Warren McDonald said the C-27J would access airfields unsuitable for larger aircraft.
“Across the Asia Pacific region, there are numerous airfields which are too small or otherwise unsuitable for aircraft such as the C-130J,” AIRCDRE McDonald said.
“The C-27J will have the capacity to carry useful loads such as personnel or vehicles, and be capable of delivering loads on the ground or by airdrop.”
“It is a proven platform that, in service with foreign air forces, has delivered frontline airlift in theatres such as Africa, Afghanistan, and the Philippines.”
On 8 December 2014, the first four technicians from No. 35 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond commenced their training at Waco, Texas. The first 12 aircrew, comprising pilots and loadmasters from No. 35 Squadron, will commence their training in January 2015.
On 15 December 2014, Spartan A34-001 conducted a training flight for the first time under the Australian Flag in Waco, Texas. This training flight carried instructors from L-3 Communications, who will provide training to RAAF personnel on the Spartan.
An image of the first flight by the Spartan on the Australian state register will be available from the Defence image gallery at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20143883
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999