RAAF tests new capabilities for C-27J Spartan

RAAF C27 Spartan new capabilities
RAAF C-27J Spartan.

Australia is among the most active users of the C-27J Spartan, the nation considers the aircraft as a key platform for the effective conduct of several types of missions: from airborne-operations to humanitarian aid as well as exploring new uses.

One example is the recent tests conducted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to extend the Spartan's Search and Rescue capability.

As explained by Flight Lt. Luke Duffy, Aircraft Research and Development Unit, in an interview released by RAAF, they recently trialled dropping Compact Rescue Systems in the ocean in order to deliver emergency supplies to people stranded at sea.

“This test program looked to achieve extending the current Search and Rescue capabilities for the C-27J, 35 Squadron. So what we’re looking to do is run a test program for the CRS, Compact Rescue System to add into the already available Search and Rescue capability they have. The CRS itself it’s a small container. You’re looking to punt in there some possibly life-saving medicine, a radio or a part for an engine. The rest of the system is attached to a flotation buoy via a rope. We can deploy that to pretty much any vessel at a low altitude. 

“This test program took place off the coast of the Gold Coast, it included the PC21 chase aircraft and the Marine Coast Guard to support us from the surface, retrieving both the CRS and giving us additional drop reports. The CRS test program is kind of like the final piece of the puzzle as this is a milestone for the Search and Rescue capability for this aircraft,” Duffy said.

The new RAAF tests prove how the Spartan never stops to evolve. It is confirmed to be a great solution for all those modern armed forces called to carry out “dual use” missions, but which also plan to rationalize the fleet and reduce costs.

The Spartan well synthesizes in its DNA how defence is not only a military matter, but even an armed forces’ asset called to support and help the civil population. In a world hit this year by COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies, a long pictorial gallery shows C-27J successfully and continuously in support of people worldwide.

Already acknowledged as the most effective multi-mission military transport aircraft in its class, the C-27J Spartan is mission-proven across all continents with a number of prime Air Forces, the Spartan is operated in the world’s most demanding operational environments - from the Andes to Afghanistan - for military transport, cargo and paratroopers airdrop, last tactical mile troop support, special operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Leonardo