The RAAF’s first C-27J Spartan tactical transport has entered final assembly at Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin plant.
The fuselage for the future A34-001 was manufactured at Alenia Aermacchi’s Capodichino, Naples site before being transported to Turin via road and sea freight for final assembly.
Australia has ordered 10 Spartans to replace the Caribou retired three years ago, with the first C-27J scheduled to arrive in Australia in early 2015. To be operated by the re-forming 35SQN at RAAF Richmond, the C-27J will provide airlift capability between the Army’s CH-47 Chinooks and RAAF 37SQN C-130J Hercules.
As reported in the November issue of Australian Aviation, the C-27J has seen active service with the USAF’s 135th airlift group in Afghanistan. During its operation there, Colonel Thomas Hans was enthusiastic about the aircraft’s performance, saying: “On a scale of one to 10, I’d rate it a 10. It has some great capabilities and seems to be suited for the tactical airlift mission. If you want efficiency with small loads very frequently in a dynamic battlefield or natural disaster, the C-27J is the right fit for that job.”