Spartan Aircraft Grounded
The Air Force has decided to ground a portion of its C-27J Spartans after the discovery of structural cracking in these aircraft.
The manufacturer, Leonardo, issued an Alert Service Bulletin instructing operators, including Australia, as well as military forces in USA, Italy, Mexico, and other countries, to inspect for cracks near the attachment points of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers to the fuselage.
A spokesperson from the Defence department confirmed that the RAAF has initiated inspections on its C-27J fleet and found similar issues. Aircraft with cracking will be grounded until a thorough engineering assessment is conducted.
Leonardo, in a statement, assured that the problem is fixable and is not expected to significantly impact operations. The manufacturer has already identified a repair solution, which can be implemented by operators at customer premises without requiring significant effort.
Currently, Australia operates 10 Spartans through No. 35 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley. This squadron primarily focuses on peacetime operations, including search and rescue