The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is to gain up to four more C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, Australian defense minister David Johnston said on Friday. The acquisition of two more aircraft has already been decided, and the other two may well also be ordered in light of the heavy use of Australia’s current, six aircraft strong C-17 fleet.
The announcement comes while Boeing in the process of building the very last C-17 aircraft to come of the production line in Long Beach, California. After two decades and 269 aircraft, the line will close in Summer 2015, as Boeing stated earlier this year. After delivering the last aircraft on order, Boeing builds up to 15 ‘white tail’ aircraft, available for future customers. India is said to be interested in ten of these, and now Australia also sets eyes on some of them.
Australia received its first C-17 in December 2006, with the sixth aircraft delivered in 2012. The transporters are operated from Canberra by 36 squadron.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest