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Australia signs for fifth C-17

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 19, 2011

A RAAF C-17 Globemaster banks away from RAAF Base Richmond. (Dept of Defence)

Australia has signed a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the US government to acquire a fifth C-17 for the RAAF, Boeing has confirmed.

The fifth C-17 will be delivered in August after the US Air Force agreed to give up one of its production slots so that Australia could take early delivery of the aircraft. The aircraft will join the RAAF’s existing C-17 fleet in service with 36 Squadron at Amberley.

“Boeing thanks the RAAF, a C-17 customer since 2006, for its confidence in the airlifter’s capabilities,”said C-17 program manager Bob Ciesla.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced Australia’s plans to acquire a fifth C-17 in late February in the lead up to the Avalon Airshow.

To date Boeing has delivered 230 C-17s, including 20 to international customers.

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Comments (6)

  • j bol


    Good idea, these are the work horses of the international airforces when it comes to reliability, payload and volume shifting. A big thank you to the USAF for giving up a production slot too.

  • Dan J


    Fantastic acquisition – one does now wonder however about the rest of the “transport/lift arm of the RAAF with the C130H replacement along with the Caribou nowhere in sight. Extremely poor planning by Government to replace the Caribou with an interim aircraft after near 40 years plus in service.

  • George


    Not sure who to appluad here. Somebody in RAAF procurement or the government…but finally! …someone has the common sense to buy another C17. Hopefully they will continue with their smart forward thinking and make another 3 to 5 purchase decisions on this remarkably capable aircraft over the coming years. The Australian taxpayers will get their money’s worth and then some. More needed.

  • Dane


    All good and well for the heavy air lift component in the RAAF. But why are we still waiting for a Caribou replacement?

  • Stewart


    Good, but we need an full squadron (12) and I ‘m pleased to see the Air Force understanding at last that this is not just a “big aeroplane.”
    We will have the sort of awesome airlift capacity shown in the James Stewart film”The Strategic Air Command” (1955).

  • Frank


    A great decision and such a capable aircraft! It can rotate before the king air can! Personally, the Beech 350 is not a good interim plane, because troops can’t jump out of it! After going to Avalon 2011, i’ve seen how good it would be for the RAAF to buy the C-27j!

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