The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received its sixth C-17A Globemaster III military transport aircraft from Boeing. The aircraft will enhance the country’s ability to provide military, humanitarian and disaster relief support.
Delivered from Boeing’s final assembly facility in Long Beach, the airlifter will be operated by No. 36 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane, Australia.
RAAF chief of Air Force air marshal Geoff Brown said the C-17 fleet will improve Australia’s reach locally, regionally and globally.
"Individually, the aircraft is impressive – but as a fleet, it has fundamentally enhanced our strategic airlift agility to meet the Australian Defence Force Air Mobility requirements," Brown added.
Airlift and C-17 programme manager vice president Bob Ciesla said: "We look forward to supporting the RAAF and this aircraft as we do the five other C-17s at Amberley."
The country currently operates C-17As to provide heavy airlift capability and transport combat-ready troops for missions in remote locations.
As part of the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics agreement with the US Air Force (USAF), Boeing provides after-delivery support to the RAAF’s C-17 fleet.
The C-17 Globemaster III is a military tactical transport aircraft, designed to perform rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases worldwide and is also capable of conducting tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions.
Boeing has delivered 248 C-17s, 218 of which are operated by the USAF.
The remaining 30 are operations with Australia, Canada, Qatar, the UAE, the UK and Nato.
Image: RAAF received its fifth C-17 in September 2011. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.