Australia’s C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter has achieved initial operating capability (IOC), Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne has announced.
“The Spartan can access airfields that are unable to support larger transport aircraft, thus increasing the reach for Defence when supporting communities across Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific region,” Minister Payne said in a statement. “The Spartan can now be tasked on missions to transport 40 passengers or three military pallets of cargo, as well as fulfil roles such as light equipment airdrop.”
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies described the C-27J as the missing piece in Australia’s air mobility matrix.
“The arrival of the Spartan will greatly increase the mobility and flexibility for local commanders, allowing intra-theatre airlift that will bridge C-130J Hercules and CH-47 Chinook options,” CAF said.
A transition of command ceremony was held for 84 Wing on December 16 at RAAF Base Richmond with Group Captain Paul Long accepting command from GPCAPT Carl Newman, while 35 Squadron and the C-27J transitioned to 84 Wing control, having previously been managed by the C-27J Transition Team.
To date, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received four of the 10 C-27J Spartans that Australia has on order.