The Qatar Emiri Air Force has received a second C-17 Globemaster III airlifter from Boeing.

Qatar, the first Middle Eastern nation to order the C-17, awarded the contract for two advanced airlifters and associated equipment and services, with an option for two additional aircraft to Boeing in 2008.

Qatar airlift selection committee head Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Malki said the C-17s built for Qatar will help the nation extend its reach when supporting humanitarian aid, disaster relief and peacekeeping missions.

Boeing Global Mobility Systems Business Development vice president Tommy Dunehew said that as a tactical and strategic airlifter, the C-17 is a perfect fit for the requirements of the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

“In addition to being able to land and take off on short, unimproved runways, it has the highest mission capability rate of any airlifter, which means it is ready to fly roughly 90% of the time,” Dunehew said.

The air force will also receive operational support including material management and depot maintenance support under the Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III sustainment partnership programme.

The first of the two C-17s was delivered in August 2009.