The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and associated equipment to Australia.
Under the estimated $1.609bn sale, Australia has made a request for the supply of up to four C-17A Globemaster III aircraft, along with 19 F117-PW-100 Pratt & Whitney engines, four AN/AAQ-24V large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) Systems, four small laser transmitter assemblies and four system processors.
The package also includes four AN/AAR-54 missile warning sensors, one AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser, one AN/AAR-47 missile warning system and five Trimble Force 524 receivers. Two GAS-1 antenna units, two controlled reception pattern antennas, and one AN-USC-43V advanced narrowband voice terminal were also included.
Australia has also requested for 16 Honeywell H-764 ACE embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems, spare and repair parts, supply and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, as well as other related elements of logistics support.
The additional C-17A aircraft are expected to further improve Australia’s capability to deploy rapidly in support of global coalition operations, while greatly enhancing its ability to lead regional humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.
Approved by the US Department of State, the sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US. This is due to the fact that it is helping improve the security of Australia, a major contributor to political stability, security and economic development in South East Asia.
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Australia makes significant contribution to peacekeeping and humanitarian operations worldwide.
Boeing has been named as prime contractor for the FMS programme.
The Royal Australian Air Force currently operates six C-17As from RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, in support of domestic and international missions.
The C-17 Globemaster is manufactured by Boeing. It is a military tactical transport aircraft designed to conduct rapid strategic airlift of troops and supply of palleted cargo to main operating bases or forward-operating bases in extreme climates worldwide.
As well as being able to land on short, sharp runways, the aircraft can also perform tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions.
Alongside the Royal Australian Air Force, the C-17 Globemaster is also operated by air forces in the US, India, UAE, Canada, Qatar, the UK and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of Nato and Partnership for Peace nations.
Image: A Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III on display at the 2013 Avalon Airshow in Australia. Photo: courtesy of Bidgee.