Over the course of Tuesday 24 October, a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft were spotted completing airwork around Central Queensland including at Rockhampton Airport.
Around lunch time, A34-004 was spotted completing a low overshoot onto Runway 33 at Rockhampton Airport. It looked to fly up from RAAF Base Amberley and following the airwork, it continued further North up to Townsville. A34-004 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Kaos 37".
Then later in the afternoon, A34-003 was photographed completing a touch-and-go onto Runway 15 at Rockhampton Airport. It too looked to fly up from Amberley and also following the airwork, it too continued up to Townsville. A34-003 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Kaos 41".
This is only the third time that one of the RAAF's Alenia C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter aircraft has visited Central Queensland. Ten of the aircraft - which have been developed and manufactured by Alenia Aermacchi - were ordered by the RAAF 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.
Once delivered to the RAAF, these aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Richmond initially before being based at RAAF Base Amberley and operated by 35 Squadron. Deliveries were due to be completed in 2015 and Initial Operating Capability was achieved in December 2016 while Final Operating Capability is expected to be attained late 2017.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a fantastic visitor to CQ!
All photos taken by 'IAD' ©