The Government of Australia confirmed on 10 April 2015 the purchase of two additional Boeing C-17A Globemaster III, to be added to the Royal Australian Air Force’s existing fleet of six strategic lift aircraft.
Canberra pays a billion dollars for the acquisition, while it keeps considering even a ninth and tenth C-17. The Australian government emphasizes the spin-off for its own economy. “Three hundred million dollars of the investment will be spent on upgraded facilities at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, including a dedicated maintenance hangar and increased apron and taxi-way space to cater for heavy aircraft including the KC-30 Aerial Re-Fuelling Tankers as well as the C-17 fleet.”
C-17s have been part of many Australian military ops, including the delivery of equipment, personnel and aid as part of Operation Pacific Assist in Vanuatu (the response to Cyclone Pam),; the provision aid and materiel in Iraq, the recovery of MH17 victims from Eastern Ukraine. Moreover, C-17s were sent airborne as relief assistance to those affected by the Japanese tsunami, the Christchurch earthquake and the Queensland floods.
“Australia has worked closely with the United States Air Force to acquire the first aircraft within six months of the initial order and the second aircraft within ten months of the delivery of the first,” according to a government statement.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by the Government of Australia
Featured image: A RAAF C-17 Globemaster III (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)