There’s recently been a flurry of activity as Airbus has attempted to sell the virtues of its C-295 aircraft for the Australian Defence Force’s future battlefield airlifter. This paper examines both the Airbus solution and its rival, Alenia’s C-27J Spartan.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) airlift capability is critical to operations both at home and abroad. Airlift is a significant force multiplier because it obviates the need for prepositioning troops or supplies at every potential operational location, allowing instead for rapid deployment from further afield. And the advantages extend beyond warlike operations; the ADF is frequently in the vanguard of the response to natural disasters, as has been the case with floods and cyclones in Queensland, earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, and a tsunami in the Indian Ocean basin.