Will Offer SPARTAN for Future Air Mobility Capability Requirement
Leonardo and Northrop Grumman Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner on C-27J through-life support services in New Zealand, the companies announced on 27 February.
Under the memorandum, Leonardo, manufacturer of the C-27J SPARTAN tactical airlifter, and Northrop Grumman Australia Pty Limited, a leading provider of regional aircraft and electronic component sustainment services, will jointly bid the incoming Future Air Mobility Capability (FAMC) programme of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The parties will use their existing relationship to offer the C-27J to New Zealand as a replacement for the aging C-130H HERCULES fleet.
The two companies will bring a whole-of-life sustainment approach to the C-27J and a roadmap for future modernisation and upgrades using extensive reach-back and sovereign capabilities. The versatility of the C-27J, combined with Northrop Grumman Australia’s proven track record and exemplary performance with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) SPARTAN fleet, will allow the RNZAF to seamlessly perform the widest range of airlift missions, along with humanitarian aid and disaster relief, search and rescue and VIP transport, in the harshest environmental scenarios.
“With this partnership we want to make Australia our hub for the C-27J in the region, to provide New Zealand with true excellence, not only in terms of product, but also in terms of services, to ensure decades of efficient transport and relief operations. The successful experience of the RAAF fleet is a testament to our commitment and we are convinced that New Zealand would receive significant advantages by becoming the next SPARTAN customer,” stated Leonardo Aircraft Marketing and Sales Director, Maurizio De Mitri.
“We are excited to be able to take our combined strengths and deep knowledge of C-27J and deliver highly optimised services and support to regional customers,” added Director of Northrop Grumman Australia’s Technology Services sector, Nic Maan. “This MoU confirms the importance of the establishment of this strategic partnership between Northrop Grumman Australia and Leonardo, as it brings together the two organisations best placed to deliver C-27J operations in New Zealand.”
The Northrop Grumman Australia team of more than fifty personnel at RAAF Base Richmond provides logistics, engineering, modernisation and upgrade capabilities to provide forward-thinking analytical solutions for the C-27J platform. The team delivers a predictive, holistic and continually optimised approach to provide game-changing mission readiness and anticipate necessary modernisations and enhancements to the fleet.
The Leonardo C-27J SPARTAN has been designed as a true military tactical/battlefield airlifter, to operate routinely from short, austere airstrips. It offers unique qualities not found in aircraft of the same class or derived from commercial turboprops, including ruggedness, reliability, outstanding survivability and manoeuvrability. The aircraft has the capacity for autonomous operations from remote areas and is qualified to conduct short take-offs and landings on any type of unprepared airstrips – snow, sand, gravel and grass. SPARTAN is currently in operation with several military services, including the US Army, US Coast Guard, Italian Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force.