Australia receives fifth C-17

Sept. 16, 2011 at 6:39 AM

LONG BEACH, Calif., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Boeing has delivered a fifth C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to the Australian air force in a ceremony at a final assembly facility in California.

"Since 2006, Boeing has enjoyed a strong partnership with the (Australia air force) and the crews who fly the C-17," said Bob Ciesla, Boeing C-17 program manager. "With this fifth C-17, the (air force) continues to expand and extend its global airlift reach.

"We're certain that the C-17 we delivered today will continue to fully provide the reliability and versatility the (Australia air force) has come to expect."

Australian C-17s were part of the relief mission to Japan following a devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. The fleet delivered more than 1 million pounds of cargo, including water cannons to help cool the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Australia air force C-17s also conducted relief operations following a major earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and floods in Pakistan and Australia.

Australia in April announced the signing of an agreement with the U.S. government to acquire its fifth C-17 and the U.S. Air Force assigned a C-17 already in production to be delivered to it.

There are 235 C-17s in service worldwide -- 24 with international customers. The U.S. Air Force, including active duty, Guard and Reserve units, has 211 C-17s.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Houston-based LINN leaves Texas shale
Australian troops to receive new rifle variant
Saab joining BAE Systems, Patria in bid to produce armored vehicle
Gas prices could go up, AAA says
Kurdish government in Iraq selling more oil