Boeing has secured a contract to support Nato’s Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) programme in the UK.

Under the terms of the $8m contract, Boeing will provide C-17 training to the aircrews of ten Nato countries and two Nato partnership for peace countries at its C-17 International Training Centre (ITC) in the UK.

Boeing C-17 training programme manager Larry Sisco said: "Boeing met the customer need to have access to affordable, high-quality training for aircrews from smaller countries with limited resources.

"Having regional training is a big cost and time saving exercise for the SAC Programme."

The contract was awarded following a training inspection in the US, which involved the US Air Force (USAF) approving Boeing’s C-17 training simulators including weapons systems trainer, loadmaster station and an integrated maintenance procedure trainer at the ITC as being capable of training C-17 aircrews.

Sisco added: "The USAF gave us their stamp of approval.

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"They were thrilled with our simulator capability and how concurrent the simulators are with the C-17 aircraft."

"They were thrilled with our simulator capability and how concurrent the simulators are with the C-17 aircraft."

The C-17 Globemaster III is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military-transport aircraft, which can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world.

In September 2006, Nato announced its intention to buy an initial three or four C-17 aircraft.

The Nato Airlift Management Organisation (Namo) purchases, owns and manages the aircraft. A multinational military unit, the heavy airlift wing (HAW), conducts airlift operations.

Boeing delivered the first C-17 to SAC in July 2009, followed by a second and third C-17s in September 2009 and October 2009 respectively.

Boeing Training Systems and Services has provided C-17 aircrew training to the air force for more than 18 years.

Image: A US Air Force (USAF) C-17 Globemaster III. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.