The eight and final Australian Boeing C-17A Globemaster III was delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on Friday 4 September. The aircraft departed its place of birth in Long Beach, California, for the long flight to Down Under.
The final aircraft is one of two ordered in April this year, on top of six already ordered and delivered several years ago. The aircraft was also one of the very last C-17s built. In total, 279 C-17 Globemaster were built for various customers.
The entire RAAF C-17 fleet is based at Amberley airbase, also home to the Australian KC-30 tanker fleet.
The seventh C-17A Globemaster III aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) arrived in Australia at Amberley airbase on Wednesday 29 July, marking the fastest delivery in Australia’s C-17 fleet.
The government Down Under announced the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft – on top of six already in use – only last April. Total cost for the two transporters and associated equipment is 730 million USD. The eighth C-17A is planned to arrive at Amberley later this year.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC said the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft will increase the Australian Defence Force’s capacity to provide vital community and humanitarian assistance.. “The C-17A fleet has been integral to recent operations including the rapid deployment of Australian forces in support of the Iraq Government , assistance in the Queensland floods, and the recovery of MH17 victims from Eastern Ukraine.”
“Under Plan Jericho, the RAAF is dedicated to developing a networked, future joint force that can respond across the spectrum – from combat to humanitarian support. An additional two C-17A aircraft will help us achieve that,” Air Marshal Davies said.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is to welcome two more KC-30A (Airbus A330 MRTT) multi-role tanker aircaft in 2018, the government in Canberra announced on 1 July. The aircraft join five KC-30s already in service. The contract is worth 318 million USD, and involves two former Qantas A330s converted to KC-30s. The conversion work will be done in Spain.
The Aussie KC-30A tankers refuel RAAF F/A-18A/B Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets, E-7A Wedgetail and C-17A Globemasters, plus EA-18G Growler, P-8A Poseidon and the F-35A in the future as well. They are also capable of refueling other KC-30s.
According to defense sources Down Under, the type plays an important role in the Middle East region as part of the Australian contribution to the fight against IS. In theater, the KC-30s delivered more than 10,800 tonnes of fuel since September 2014, with a range of coalition fighter aircraft at the receiving end
The additional two aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Amberley, next to the five aircraft already in use.
The first Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan tactical airlifter for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) arrived in Australia on Thursday 25 June. The aircraft flew to RAAF Base Richmond following modifications and training in the US, where the aircraft resided ever since first delivery by Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi.
Australia has ten Spartans on order, all of which are being modified by L-3 Integrated Systems in Waco, Texas. The first aircraft arrived in Waco in March last year, with flight training for RAAF crews starting last December. The aircraft finally departed Waco on 15 June, arriving in Down Under ten days later.
The second aircraft is to arrive in August. The Australian Spartan fleet is to call RAAF Base Amberley home in the end. See here for a feature story on the Spartan here at Airheadsfly.com.