The Kuwait Air Force (KAF) has taken delivery of the first C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft from Boeing.
The aircraft, which sports a special livery for the Gulf nation, is expected to expand the air force's capabilities in military and civilian operations, including humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Kuwait Air Force deputy commander colonel Abdullah Al Foudari said the C-17 aircraft meets the unique airlift requirements of the air force.
"With this airlifter we can more effectively participate in the operations we choose, transporting large payloads across long distances, flying at high altitudes in hot climates such as ours, and landing on short, unpaved runways," Al Foudari said.
Boeing vice-president and C-17 programme manager Nan Bouchard said, "We welcome Kuwait to the global C-17 fleet with the knowledge that this aircraft elevates the Kuwait Air Force's airlift capabilities and also further strengthens Boeing's relationship with Kuwait."
Kuwait had requested the US for sale of two C-17 airlifters along with associated equipment in September 2010, and April 2013, respectively.
Boeing is also supporting Kuwait's C-17 fleet through the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program, a proven performance-based logistics programme, which ensures mission readiness by enabling access to an extensive support network for global parts availability and economies of scale.
Powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, the C-17 Globemaster 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.
The company has to date handed over 260 C-17s, including 223 to the US Air Force, and a total of 37 to Kuwait, Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the UAE, the UK and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of Nato and Partnership for Peace nations.
Image: Kuwait Air Force's first C-17 Globemaster III airlifter on its first flight. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.