Late on Tuesday 4 September, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan A34-007 was spotted completing airwork at Rockhampton Airport.
It flew up from RAAF Bast Richmond in New South Wales and completed a missed approach onto Runway 15 at Rocky before it continued to the North towards Mackay and then Townsville. A34-007 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Kaos 05".
The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft developed and manufactured by Alenia Aermacchi (Leonardo’ Aircraft Division). The RAAF recently took delivery of its tenth and final C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter after they were ordered by 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 will be based at RAAF Base Richmond initially before being 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) is now scheduled to be declared in late 2019.
2017 marked the 75th Anniversary of the RAAF's 35 Squadron and fellow C-27J Spartan A34-006 spent many days operating out of Rockhampton Airport during the recent joint Military Exercise Hamel 2018 and was spotted wearing a special Orange Wallaby tail stripe reminiscent of the Squadron's Caribou markings carried during the Vietnam War when it was affectionately known as 'Wallaby Airways'.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H who was at the right place at the right time to capture these photos!
Photo taken by Kayanne Hardsman ©