On Wednesday 13 May, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-005 was photographed at Mackay Airport. It looked to arrive from Townsville and was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Wallaby 37".
After a short time on the ground, A34-005 was photographed as it departed Mackay Airport bound for Rockhampton Airport.
A34-005 was then also photographed as it landed at Rockhampton Airport also for a short time.
The Spartan eventually departed to RAAF Base Amberley.
The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft developed and manufactured by Alenia Aermacchi. The RAAF operates 10 of the C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter after they were ordered back in May 2012 to replace the now-retired De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou fleet.
The RAAF C-27J Spartan aircraft complements the capabilities of the current C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft and uses common C-130J Hercules infrastructure and aircraft systems such as engines, avionics and the cargo handling systems. They will be equipped with missile warning systems, electronic self-protection and battlefield armour allowing them to operate freely in high-threat environments.
The current 10 Spartan aircraft are based at RAAF Base Amberley and operated by 35 Squadron. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the C-27J was achieved in December 2016, while Final Operating Capability (FOC) was declared in late 2019.
Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
Photos taken by 'JM', Michael Malick and Scott Harris ©