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Australia mulling to buy sixth C-17A Globemaster

Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster.

CANBERRA (BNS): Australia is considering to acquire another C-17A Globemaster heavy-lift aircraft from the US, the country’s Defence Minister has said.

A letter of intent has been sent to the US to acquire the sixth aircraft of the series through the Foreign Military Sales programme, Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced at the Amberley Air Force base on Friday marking the arrival of the fifth airlifter of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

“A sixth C-17 would give the Government increased options to support a wider range of contingencies that might require heavy-lift aircraft. Advice from Defence is that a sixth aircraft would double the number of C-17A aircraft available for operations at any one time compared to four aircraft,” Smith said.

The RAAF has received five Globemasters from Boeing between 2006 and 2011. The first airlifter was operational in 2007.

Acquisition of the fifth aircraft was announced in March 2011.

The C-17 can transport large payloads across vast ranges, land on short, austere runways, and operate in extreme climates. It is the only airlifter that possesses both tactical and strategic capabilities.

The US Foreign Military Sale allows the RAAF to expand its C-17 fleet as it faces an increased demand for humanitarian and disaster relief missions.


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