Boeing has delivered the first of six C-17 Globemaster III airlifters to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and Air Defence from its final assembly facility in California, US.

UAE Air Force and Air Defence commander Major General Staff Pilot Mohammed bin Suwaidan Saeed Al Qamzi said the airlifter would increase the service’s ability to perform humanitarian and strategic-lift missions.

The UAE’s C-17s will be supported through Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III sustainment partnership to receive comprehensive worldwide logistics support.

The C-17 is capable of transporting large payloads across a broad range of platforms without refuelling, and is capable of operating in extreme hot and cold weather conditions.

The air force will receive three more C-17s by the end of 2011, with another two to be delivered in 2012.