Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel have started training on the Alenia C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter in the US, after the first two aircraft were transferred to the Australian register, Defence has announced.
Air Force Director General Capability Planning Air Commodore Mike Kitcher stated that the first Spartan aircraft are expected to arrive in Australia by mid-2015. A total of 10 aircraft are set to be delivered over the next two years and will be operated by 35SQN, initially from RAAF Base Richmond. The first four technicians from 35SQN began training on December 8 in Waco, Texas, while the first 12 pilots and loadmasters were expected to commence their training in January.
C-27J A34-001 conducted a training flight for the first time under the Australian flag on December 15, Defence stated. This training flight carried instructors from L-3 Communications, which will provide Spartan training for the RAAF.
Commander of Air Mobility Group Air Commodore Warren McDonald said the C-27J would be able to access airfields that are unsuitable for larger aircraft. 22.12.14