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Royal Air Force to Acquire 7th Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
The Boeing Company and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence this week announced an agreement for the acquisition of a seventh C-17 Globemaster III for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Boeing is scheduled to deliver the aircraft in December 2010.
"The RAF has an urgent need for additional airlift capability," said Robin Philip, Head of Commercial Air Support, UK Ministry of Defence. "We know firsthand the capabilities and reliability the C-17 brings to every mission, and that's why we're adding another one to our fleet."
The current UK fleet of six C-17s has logged more than 50,000 flight hours to date. The newest C-17, like the others, will operate out of RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, England, and provide critical airlift capability.
"The RAF's C-17s have served the United Kingdom well, performing superbly in aeromedical evacuations, humanitarian and disaster-relief missions, and in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Tommy Dunehew, Boeing Global Mobility Systems vice president of Business Development. "And now more help is on the way."
"We're proud to support the RAF with an aircraft that continues to set the standard for advanced airlift capability," added Liz Pace, C-17 program manager, United Kingdom and Australia. "The addition of a seventh C-17 illustrates, once again, why it remains the airlifter of choice for both U.S. and allied commanders."
As part of the worldwide C-17 fleet, the United Kingdom participates in the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership logistics support program, which aims to increase mission readiness and reduce operations and support costs. The Boeing C-17 Field Services team located at RAF Brize Norton provides engineering, supply chain management and support, and maintenance of essential support equipment, along with configuration and data services 24 hours a day.
In addition to supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the RAF's C-17s have provided humanitarian relief to the victims of tsunamis in Southeast Asia and earthquakes in Pakistan. The C-17 is the world's only tactical airlift aircraft with strategic capabilities that allow it to fly between continents and land on short, austere runways.
There are currently 211 C-17s in service worldwide, including 19 with international customers. The U.S. Air Force, including active Guard and Reserve units, has 192. International customers include the United Kingdom, Qatar, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.
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