The Royal Canadian Air Force will acquire a fifth Boeing C-17A Globemaster III, designated CC-177 in Canadian service. The unofficial reason: there is some budget left and if it is not spend, the Defence Ministry will have less next fiscal year.
The official reason: “The CC-177 fleet has proven to be an extremely effective fleet, one which enables large numbers of simultaneous operations even on short notice,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff. “Canada’s addition of a fifth aircraft increases the Royal Canadian Air Force’s flexibility and availability to respond to international or domestic crises.”
With the purchase of an additional aircraft, the RCAF estimates it will have at least three Globemasters available more than 90 per cent of the time, an increase of current availability with 25 percent.
Canadian CC-177s are playing a key-role in supporting the Canadian involvement in international operations. Six RCAF CF-188 Hornets have been in Europe through most of the year for Operation Reassurance, flying first in Romania and until the end of December from Lithuania to beef up NATO’s defences. Moreover, six CF-188s, a CC-150 Polaris tanker and two CP-140 Aurora reconnaissance aircraft fly out of Ahmed Al Jaber Airbase in Kuwait to fight the so-called Islamic State forces in Iraq as part of Operation Impact. Globemaster also have been engaged in supporting the Ukrainian Armed Forces with supplies and gear that is not necessarily direct related to combat, like clothes and medical supplies. Canada even calls it a “response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”. Furthermore, the Globemaster brought Canadian troops home from Afghanistan in Spring.
At home CC-177s flew in support of Operation Nanook, where they transported both equipment and personnel in Canada’s largest Arctic sovereignty operation, and on Operation Boxtop, where they provide a critical lifeline and resupply Canadian Forces Station Alert in Nunavut on a semi-annual basis.
Canada believes the acquisition of the 5th Globemaster III will cost $ 415 million, in addition to 12 years of integrated in-service support valued at $ 30 million.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on press release by Royal Canadian Air Force