Fifth C-27J arrives in Australia

A34-004 is washed soon after arriving at Richmond. (Defence)

The RAAF has received its fifth C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter at RAAF Base Richmond.

The aircraft, A34-004, arrived at Richmond on March 30 following a two-week ferry flight from Waco, Texas, via Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

A34-004 is the aircraft which sustained minor damage in a hard landing incident at Waco, Texas in May 2016 during a night training flight.

Ten C-27Js are on order for the RAAF, with the first aircraft arriving at Richmond in June 2015. The type achieved initial operating capability with 35 Squadron in mid-December.


  1. Derrick says

    Still should have come with the inflight refueling probe….. instead of an costly after thought

  2. Corey says

    Why did they ferry the aircraft the longest way? It would have been quicker to fly it from LA to Hawaii, Hawaii to Samoa, Samoa to New Cal and then New Cal to Brisbane. It would mean a total flight time of about 21hrs excluding the flight from Waco TX to LA which is about 4hrs. So Why fly it the longer way around to deliver it when it could have been cheaper to fly it the way QANTAS etc ferry their 737-800s over which has similar range? Another Question which needs to be answered why can’t they buy 2 additional aircraft for less than $100 million for both and why don’t they have probe refueling capability?

  3. Hayden.R says

    if you compare their (the spartan and the caribou) physical traits you’ll find there’s a lot similar between the two.

  4. Paul says

    @Carlos. When I see a Spartan land on an airstrip in the PNG Highlands is when I will concede it can do the same job the Caribou did.

  5. PAUL says

    @Paul yes agreed more military news also Operational news stories from RAAF units in the Middle East from both Pilots & Engineers perspective., would be good.

  6. AlanH says

    Paul, I suspect that “Operational news stories from RAAF units in the Middle East from both Pilots & Engineers perspective” would have to be so heavily censored as to make them too uninformative to be of any real journalistic value. The RAAF (and other military arms) can’t afford to reveal too much about what is going in operational areas of engagement.

  7. ESLowe says

    If it’s the fifth plane in the fleet, why is it numbered as 004. – did we get 005 before hand…small point but a curious one, to me at least.

  8. AMENZL says

    Suspect 005 arrived before 004, due to the “minor damage in a hard landing incident at Waco, Texas in May 2016” But from the other side of the ditch, this is hard to know. Richmond planespotters may have the inside oil.

  9. AMENZL says

    I haven’t studied C-27 range too closely, but suspect the LA – Hawaii sector is a little too far for twin? Hence the long way around.
    A quick Google says LAX – HNL 2221 NM, vs Various ranges; Ferry 3160 NM, 6 tonne Payload 2230 NM, and 950 at MTOW. So, add in a headwind componentand it is a safer bet to fly the long way home.

  10. PeterL says

    Paul, AA have not published anywhere near as much military news since they took over ‘Australian Defence Business Review’. They keep the majority of this news for ADBR. ADBR is a very expensive publication so we miss out. It could all be consolidated in one magazine as in the past.

    I supposed you will not release this AA?

  11. Mick181 says

    For all those who ask why doesn’t a piece of equipment come with more extras, why don’t we buy more, it’s the same reason you buy a $30,000 bottom of the line car instead of a $40,000 top of the line car, your budget simply won’t stretch that far. You won’t more Defence equipment bought than lets all pay $2000 more Tax a year, i can’t afford that can you?
    A flight refueling probe for the C-27, does CONOPS call for longer range in what will be a Tactical tpt Aircraft? Rather see the Hercs fitted before the Spartans. 2 more Spartans for less than $100m, what about the cost of the extra crews, ground support personnel and maintaining the Aircraft and operating them, before you know it the cost is out to $200-300m.

  12. ESLowe says

    Yes, there’s a point here about taking the long way around to deliver the C27. The route between L.A and Hawaii is the longest over-water leg in the world.. I don’t know that they’d want to risk brand new smallish planes over such open waters. & I would guess that such a flight would be at the very limit of the plane’s range as well.