Australia opts for more C-17A Globemasters

The Australian Government is exercising the option to buy two additional C-17A Globemaster strategic airlift aircraft, Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston announced last week.

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A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster strategic transport aircraft departs RAAF Base Amberley, destined for the Middle East-based RAAF Air Task Group. Photo: Australian DOD by Ben Dempster.
A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster strategic transport aircraft departs RAAF Base Amberley, destined for the Middle East-based RAAF Air Task Group. Photo: Australian DOD by Ben Dempster.

“Since the first delivery in 2006, we have seen the Boeing C-17A Globemaster perform exceptionally well at the forefront of Australia’s military operations and humanitarian work,” Senator Johnston said, adding the Government elect to exercise this option the two extra Globemasters would significantly enhance the Royal Australian Air Force’s capacity for operational tasks, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance in our region and around the world. The current fleet of six C-17As was based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, and an additional two would integrate seamlessly into the fleet.

Recent global events have seen Australia’s national capabilities like the C-17A come to the fore to assist our friends and allies

The Government has requested pricing and availability data for two further aircraft through the United States Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Decisions on these aircraft are being informed by the force structure review currently under way within Defence as part of the White Paper process.

“Recent global events have seen Australia’s national capabilities like the C-17A come to the fore to assist our friends and allies.” Johnston said, “The ability to rapidly react and move large elements of Australia’s support systems over long distances during these times has highlighted the need for us to have a good sized fleet.” Johnston explained the decision. “The aircraft is also currently supporting Australian and Coalition forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East, providing a military long-range, strategic heavy airlift capability between Australia and the world,” Senator Johnston said.

An Australian C-17A Globemaster aircraft has returned to Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after delivering military stores to Erbil, Northern Iraq on 2nd September 2014. The aircrew flew from Al Minhad Air Base over the weekend via Tirana, Albania, where the aircraft was loaded. The military stores, consisting of ammunition, was then inspected and cleared by Iraqi officials in Baghdad before moving north to Erbil. The stores will help the people of Iraq to confront the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremists. The Australian mission is consistent with similar assistance being provided by the United States, Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft remain available to assist the people of Iraq. Photo: Australian DOD.
An Australian C-17A Globemaster aircraft has returned to Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after delivering military stores to Erbil, Northern Iraq on 2nd September 2014. The aircrew flew from Al Minhad Air Base over the weekend via Tirana, Albania, where the aircraft was loaded. The military stores, consisting of ammunition, was then inspected and cleared by Iraqi officials in Baghdad before moving north to Erbil. The stores will help the people of Iraq to confront the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremists. The Australian mission is consistent with similar assistance being provided by the United States, Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft remain available to assist the people of Iraq. Photo: Australian DOD.