During the afternoon on Sunday 16 July, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan A34-007 was spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport.
It is the first time ever that one of the RAAF's battlefield air lifter aircraft has visited Rocky.
A34-007 looked to fly in from RAAF Base Richmond. It was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Wallaby 24".
After a couple of hours on the ground, A34-007 returned to Richmond.
The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft developed and manufactured by Alenia Aermacchi. Ten of the battlefield airlifters were ordered by the RAAF 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.
Once delivered to the RAAF, these aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Richmond initially before being based at RAAF Base Amberley and operated by 35 Squadron. Deliveries were due to be completed in 2015 and Initial Operating Capability was achieved in December 2016 while Final Operating Capability is expected to be attained late 2017.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Daniel B and Don W for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a fantastic first time visitor to Rockhampton Airport during Exercise Talisman Saber 2017 (TS17).
Photos taken by Don Williams and Dan Bishop ©