Boeing has unveiled the first of three C-17 Globemaster III aircraft that will be part of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) consortium’s fleet.

The 12-nation consortium will use the airlifter to support military, humanitarian, disaster-relief and peacekeeping missions.

The SAC group includes ten NATO nations – Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the US – and Partnership for Peace members Sweden and Finland. The members will share acquisition and operating costs for the three C-17s over the nearly 30-year agreement.

The first SAC C-17 will be delivered to the Heavy Airlift Wing in Hungary later in July, while the remaining two will enter service in September and October 2009.