First RAAF C-27J touches down

C-27J-2
A34-001 on approach to Richmond. (Seth Jaworski)

The first of 10 Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical airlifters for the RAAF has touched down at its new home of RAAF Base Richmond.

The aircraft, A34-001, landed at Richmond at approximately 3:45 on Thursday afternoon at the end of the last leg of its delivery flight from prime contractor L-3’s Waco, Texas facility, where it departed on June 15.

A second C-27J, A34-002, is expected to be delivered to Richmond in August.

A34-001 had entered Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin assembly line in December 2012 and first flew on December 18 2013. It was ferried to L-3 in Waco in March 2014 for fitment of its ballistic protection matting, EW/self-protection systems, and communications suite. The RAAF then accepted the first two C-27J Spartans onto the Commonwealth register, and commenced training on the aircraft at L-3’s facility at Waco, last December.

The C-27Js are being acquired as battlefield airlifters to replace the capability lost with the retirement of the DHC-4 Caribou in 2009. Ultimately the C-27Js will be based at Amberley.

C-27J-1

Comments

  1. Sparticus says

    Eamon,

    Neither, if it was a RAAF Jet, it wasn’t either. Both the C130J and C27J are turbo-props. That being said a C130J preceeded the C27J into Richmond by about half an hour.

  2. TimC69 says

    Agree Chris G, on the C27’s and the C130’s. Also maybe an additional 2 to make it 12 as with the C130’s.

  3. MikeofPerth says

    Nice addition to the fleet but probably the last fixed wing battlefield airlifter the RAAF will operate. There is going to be a lot of development in high speed rotorcraft and tiltroters in the future. As someone pointed out on another thread the ADF considered buying more Chinooks instead of the C-27, but the RAAF wouldn’t have a bar of it.

    How many other advanced air forces operate battlefield airlifters of this size. Think about it.

  4. Chris G says

    Yes TimC69 10 C27J seems an odd number even for outdated hub and spoke. Unfortunately the USA FMS contract the RAAF bought the Spartan via has lapsed. The price was rich, About the same ~US$60M we paid in US$ for the C130J30 15 years earlier and similar too the V22 via USA FMS. I realise their is a difference in inflation adjusted value over 15 years in time value of money terms.
    A UARRSI given its higher flow rate might be a better choice then a probe for the C130J30 given it has 19.7 tonnes (twice) the internal fuel plus capacity for about the same again in 2 external underwing and auxiliary cabin tanks if used as a tanker. Without outboard under wing or a ramp mounted pump, hose and drogue a Hercules can STOL air land fuel into a forward base for fighters or helicopters.

  5. Roger P says

    Alenia manufactures the C27J with an optional bolt-on refuelling probe which mounts from the front of the wing root and extends in an external fairing along the outside of the fuselage top left-hand side and extends out over the LH pilots windscreen.
    It does NOT have a UARRSI receptacle.
    There are plenty of photo’s available showing C27J’s for other Airforces with it fitted.
    As we have purchased them as short distance tactical battlefield airlifters, they are probably not expected to need to fly long distances.

  6. Corey says

    I’d like to see a minimum of 2 additional C-27J bought for a fleet of 12 also if Australia can’t by 2-4 additional aircraft on top of the fleet of 6 soon to be 8 C-17III aircraft the RAAF should look at buying second hand C-27s from the USAF that where built in the last 4 years and have very low cycles/hours on them so the RAAF could have an operational fleet of 12 C-17s but if Australia could buy enough for a fleet above 12 that would be awesome. Also they should looking re-engine the C-17s with the GEnx2b67 for example they could reduce fuel burn, maintenance and noise along with increasing range, payload and endurance which would also have to include some minor improvements possible new avionics including digital flight bag.

  7. Chris G says

    Corey, the ex USAF and Air National Guard C27J Spartans were transferred to the US Coast Guard in lieu of buying more C295 MPA. There are no C27J currently available from the USA for sale too the RAAF. The only way for us to get more is too buy them from Italy or from another user.
    The first 70 C17As wholly in service with the USA lack the 6klb empty centre wing fuel tank. The rest like ours are C17A ERs with the tank that reduces the max payload from 77.5 to 75 tonnes. With the reduction of C5s airframes to rebuilt C5C and a couple of C5M oversized transports the USA are unlikely to offer any C17A or ER aircraft for sale on the 2nd hand market. Our only hope would be to buy the last Boeing White Tail C17A ER new build taking RAAF C17A ER nos to 9.

  8. Jon says

    The ex USAF, 14 are currently being modified for use by the US Coast Guard, the other 7 went to the US Army.