Boeing Delivers Royal Australian Air Force’s 5th C-17 Globemaster III
Boeing today delivered Australiaâ€™s fifth C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during a ceremony at the C-17 programâ€™s final assembly facility in Long Beach. A RAAF delegation led by Stephen Smith, Australiaâ€™s Minister for Defence, received the countryâ€™s latest C-17 at an event also attended by Chief of the Defence Force Gen. David Hurley, Australian Secretary of Defence Duncan Lewis, and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich.
â€œAustraliaâ€™s fleet of four C-17s has been on the front lines of defense and humanitarian missions around the world, and continues to demonstrate the aircraftâ€™s great versatility and capability,â€ said Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick. â€œWe look forward to a continued close partnership with the Commonwealth.â€
Australian C-17s were part of the relief mission to Japan following a devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. The fleet delivered more than 1 million pounds of cargo, including water cannons to help cool the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. RAAF C-17s also conducted relief operations following a major earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and floods in Pakistan and Australia.
â€œSince 2006, Boeing has enjoyed a strong partnership with the RAAF and the crews who fly the C-17,â€ said Bob Ciesla, Boeing C-17 program manager. â€œWith this fifth C-17, the RAAF continues to expand and extend its global airlift reach. Weâ€™re certain that the C-17 we delivered today will continue to fully provide the reliability and versatility the RAAF has come to expect.â€
The Commonwealth of Australia in April announced the signing of an agreement with the U.S. government to acquire its fifth C-17. The U.S. Air Force approved the Foreign Military Sale and assigned a C-17 already in production to be delivered to the RAAF.
The C-17 provides the RAAF with the capability to airlift large payloads across intercontinental distances and transport combat-ready troops to remote locations, by either landing or airdropping them directly where needed. The C-17â€™s unique maneuverability allows it to operate on narrow taxiways and congested ramps. With a maximum payload of 164,900 pounds (74,797 kg), the C-17 can take off and land on runway space measuring 3,000 feet (914.4 m) or less.
There are currently 235 C-17s in service worldwide â€“ 24 with international customers. The U.S. Air Force, including active duty, Guard and Reserve units, has 211 C-17s. Other international customers include the UK Royal Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Qatar Emiri Air Force, the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defense, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. India became the newest C-17 customer in June, when India’s Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government to acquire 10 C-17s that will be delivered in 2013-2014.
Boeing press release