Defence has signed a Commonwealth Avionics Upgrade Acquisition Contract for the C-27J Spartan light tactical fixed-wing fleet.
FILE PHOTO: A No 35 Squadron C-27J Spartan flies at low level over Aussie bush. Photo by Corporal David Said
The $70 million contract with Leonardo will result in the replacement and upgrade of existing radio capability, further improving the overall safety and suitability of the C-27J platform.
Head of Aerospace Systems Division Air Vice-Marshal Leon Phillips said the C-27J Spartan was an important capability for the Royal Australian Air Force.
“Operated by No. 35 Squadron, the C-27J Spartan fleet provides essential transportation and aerial delivery of passengers, troops and cargo, support to search-and-rescue missions and aeromedical evacuation in our region,” Air Vice-Marshal Phillips said.
“Upgrading the cryptographic radio function of the C-27J platform will ensure ongoing availability of secure communications, including interoperability with key strategic partners and intelligence networks, and increased overall safety for our Australian Defence Force personnel.”
Leonardo was selected to undertake the upgrade as the prime contractor and the original manufacturer of the Spartan.
They hold specialist knowledge and the expertise needed to conduct these major modifications to the aircraft.
No. 35 Squadron and Northrop Grumman personnel will modify the C-27J as part of routine maintenance.
The avionics upgrade will begin in September 2023 at RAAF Base Amberley and is scheduled to be completed in 2026.