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Australian Air Force receives first C-27J Spartan aircraft

The first C-27J Spartan for the Royal Australian Air Force touched down at RAAF Base Townsville on 24 June 2015, before travelling onwards to its new home of RAAF Base Richmond on 25 June 2015. An MoD photo

RICHMOND, AUSTRALIA (BNS): The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the first C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft from Italy's Alenia Aermacchi.

The medium tactical airlifter was handed over during a ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond on June 30 in the presence of Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown.

The acquisition of the C-27J Spartan will fill the gap in Australia's military capability for tactical fixed wing airlift, which has been left open since the retirement of the Caribou fleet in 2009.

Air Marshal Brown said the acquisition of 10 C-27J aircraft, which has been planned since 2012, signifies a US $1.4 billion investment in Australia's airlift capability.

"The C-27J will strengthen the Australia Defence Force's air lift capability by increasing our ability to move troops, equipment and supplies.

"The aircraft will complement the capabilities of the C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster and will be able to carry medium-sized loads and access smaller runways that are not suited to other aircraft," he said.

The C-27J aircraft provides protection from a range of threats through features such as missile warning systems, electronic self-protection, secure communications and battlefield armour.

Initial Operational Capability for the C-27J fleet is planned for late 2016, with Final Operational Capability expected within the following two years.

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