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Department of Defence

AIR 8000 Phase 2 was approved to replace the retired Caribou capability and provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with an enhanced intra-theatre and regional airlift capability through acquisition of a fleet of ten new Light Tactical Fixed Wing aircraft.

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C-27J Spartan Light Tactical Fixed Wing Airlift

AIR 8000 Phase 2 was approved to replace the retired Caribou capability and provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with an enhanced intra-theatre and regional airlift capability through acquisition of a fleet of ten new Light Tactical Fixed Wing aircraft. The C-27J is based on the original Alenia G-222 design, re-engineered with modern engines and avionics and can operate in remote and austere environments with a useful payload, range, in-theatre survivability and ability to operate from rudimentary airstrips. 

The C-27J capability conducts regional peacetime operations such as Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, Search and Rescue, Aero Medical Evacuation and airlift tasks including troop movement, cargo transport and airdrop operations.

The C-27J fits Air Force’s requirements to provide an efficient and effective air mobility platform to bridge Army’s rotary-wing assets (such as the CH-47 Chinook) and other fixed-wing transports in Air Force service (such as the C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster III).  

AIR 8000 Phase 2 continues the acquisition of a mature training system which includes a flight simulator and establishment of a training schoolhouse, and manages a Structural Substantiation Program. 

The C-27J is supported by two prime performance based contracts. Northrop Grumman Australia provides logistics and engineering support, with reach-back to Leonardo S.p.A.  as the C-27J Spartan original aircraft manufacturer. Standard Aero provides propulsion system support. The fleet is located at RAAF Base Amberley and operated by No. 35 Squadron.

Content is current as at November 2020.

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