The UAE Air Force and Air Defence has received its sixth and final C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft under a contract from Boeing earlier this month, at its final assembly facility in Long Beach, US.
The delivery follows a contract secured by Boeing in January 2010, for supply of four C-17s in 2011 and two in 2012, to help modernise the country's transport capabilities.
Boeing Airlift vice president and C-17 programme manager, Bob Ciesla, said the aircraft will strengthen the air force's range and ability while conducting critical airlift missions across the globe.
"After every delivery, UAE C-17s fly into action, conducting humanitarian airlift and disaster-response missions and life-saving aeromedical evacuation," Ciesla said.
The contract also included supply of complete C-17 related sustainment activities, including material management and depot maintenance support, as part of the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) performance-based logistics agreement with the US Air Force.
C-17 GISP vice president, Gus Urzua, said: "Through innovative performance-based logistics contracting and partnering with customers, we have provided tailored support solutions, maintaining the highest level of aircraft readiness while continuously reducing the cost of ownership."
Powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, the C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft designed to perform missions such as rapid strategic airlift of troops and supplying palleted cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases worldwide.
The airlifter can also be configured to perform tactical airlifts, medical evacuation and airdrop missions and support humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
The C-17 aircraft is also operated by the US, Australia, India, Canada and Qatar.
Image: A UAE Air Force's C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft built by Boeing. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.