The Australian government has signed a contract with Leonardo for the avionics upgrade of the Royal Australian Air Force fleet of C-27J Spartan light tactical fixed wing aircraft.
The A$70 million contract will see Leonardo replace and upgrade existing radio capability, further improving the overall safety and suitability of the C-27J platform.
Australia is upgrading the Spartans after redefining their role to include humanitarian disaster relief and crisis response last year.
Australia’s fleet of 10 Spartans has been operated by No. 35 Squadron from RAAF Base Amberley, since the first Spartan arrived in Australia in 2015. The country bought the Spartans to enhance its tactical fixed wing airlift capability, which it had been lacking since the retirement of the Caribou fleet in 2009.
The Spartan can operate from unsurfaced airstrips, and support humanitarian missions in remote locations. Much like the Hercules and Globemaster, the C-27J Spartan can airdrop cargo and paratroops in-flight, airlift a variety of cargo loads, and conduct aeromedical evacuation of sick or wounded personnel.