The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received its seventh C-17A Globemaster III aircraft from Boeing, strengthening the country’s military, humanitarian and disaster relief support capabilities.
The arrival of the new aircraft at RAAF Base Amberley in Australia marks the fastest C-17A delivery to the RAAF fleet.
Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said: "This acquisition signifies considerable work opportunities for the local industry, with $300m being spent to upgrade facilities.
"With its proven ability to transport heavy equipment, vehicles and helicopters in a short time frame, the C-17A’s capabilities are vital to Australia’s national security and safety."
The C-17 Globemaster III is a military tactical transport aircraft, designed to perform the rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases worldwide.
It is also capable of conducting tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions.
In April, the Australian Government announced plans to purchase two more C-17A aircraft from Boeing for an estimated cost of $1bn.
RAAF chief air marshal Leo Davies said: "The C-17A fleet has been integral to recent operations including the rapid deployment of Australian forces in support of the Iraq Government, assistance in the Queensland floods, and the recovery of MH17 victims from Eastern Ukraine.
"This latest acquisition will bolster our existing fleet of strategic lift aircraft, providing vital heavy airlift support to a range of operations, and increase our capacity to provide swift disaster relief and humanitarian assistance at home and abroad."
The RAAF received its sixth C-17A in November 2012. Delivery of the eighth C-17A is scheduled later this year.
Image: Boeing-built C-17 Globemaster III airlifter. Photo: courtesy of Boeing photo.