Boeing has delivered the seventh and final C-17 airlifter to the RAF at a ceremony at the company’s Long Beach plant.
“The addition of a seventh C-17 to our fleet is a significant milestone that strengthens our support of operations worldwide, especially in Afghanistan,” said Peter Luff, the UK’s Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology. “And next year, in May, we’ll mark the 10th anniversary of the delivery of the RAF’s first C-17, which continues to perform superbly — anytime and anywhere.”
The UK originally leased four C-17s to be operated by 99SQN at RAF Brize Norton, but after higher than expected usage, took the option to buy those and three additional aircraft.
Meanwhile, the RAAF is understood to be continuing to look for ways to increase its fleet of four C-17s before production of the aircraft ends in 2012.