The Qatar Emiri Air Force is doubling its fleet of Boeing C-17A Globemaster IIIs. An agreement was signed at the Paris Air Show (PAS15) on 15 June 2015 for a second batch of four of these strategic airlifters.
Qatar was the first Middle East customer to order C-17s. Two C-17s were received in 2009, with a second two arriving in 2012. One of the C-17s is operated as a VIP airline for the royal family and the government of Qatar. This Qatar Globemaster flies in the livery of Qatar Airways, like many of the Qatar Amiri Flight.
Boeings bet to produce 10 additional C-17s on its own expense seems to pay off. With the final aircraft already in production the last Globemaster III is planned to be ready in Mid-2015. Of the last ten Canada buys one, Australia two – possibly four – and the United Arab Emirates two. That left four aircraft, with New Zealand reportedly interested and Australia possibly buying another two. Some sources say that even Sweden considers the C-17, but the country seems happy for now with the time it buys on the three NATO/EU C-17s based at Papa in Hungary.
Qatar now has snatched up four of the five remaining Globemaster. That leaves just one C-17 for Boeing to sell.
When production ends with 279 aircraft built the United States Air Force will by far stay the biggest C-17 user with 223 Globemasters, followed by the Indian Air Force with 10 aircraft. Then comes the Royal Air Force, the UAE Air Force, the Qatar Emiri Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force all having eight machines. The Royal Canadian Air Force flies five Globemasters, NATO/EU Partners stay at 3 and the Kuwait Air Force owns two.
Featured image: The second Qatar Emiri Air Force C-17A Globemaster III (Image © Boeing)