Australia has awarded Leonardo a contract to provide avionics upgrades on its C-27J Spartan light tactical aircraft.
As part of the 70-million Australian dollar ($45 million) deal, the company will replace and modernize the aircraft’s radios for improved communication and safety.
The move comes as Canberra redefines the role of the Spartans to include humanitarian disaster relief and crisis response.
Air Vice-Marshal Leon Phillips said that modernizing the cryptographic radio function on the C-27J would “ensure the ongoing availability of secure communications, including interoperability with key strategic partners.”
Australia currently operates 10 Spartans for patrolling the South West Pacific and conducting surveillance missions.
The work for the new contract is expected to be completed in 2026.
The C-27J Spartan
The C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft designed to bridge the gap between army helicopters and large air force aircraft.
Similar to the Hercules and Globemaster, the Spartan can operate from unsurfaced airstrips and support crucial military missions in remote locations.
It can carry a variety of cargo and conduct aeromedical evacuation of wounded personnel.
The aircraft can accommodate up to 34 personnel and fly up to 670 kilometers (416 miles) per hour.
The Spartan can be fitted with an active electronically scanned array radar, electro-optical/infrared systems, and other specific sensors for surveillance, maritime patrol, and anti-submarine warfare missions.