A multi-nation strategic airlift capability (SAC) consortium will receive its first C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at a Hungarian air base in July.

The 12 nations will use the craft to deploy and redeploy forces and equipment, and supply humanitarian relief in Europe and surrounding areas including Afghanistan.

The nations will use their portion of flight hours to support national, UN, EU and Nato requirements.

The joint effort permits all the nations to achieve greater efficiencies in defense investment and operational capacity than the traditional approaches.

The arrival of the first C-17 on 27 July 2009 will also mark the activation of the SAC’s operational unit, the Heavy Airlift Wing.