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Australia to buy sixth C-17

March 20, 2012 at 2:57 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, March 20 (UPI) -- Australia is to purchase a sixth C-17A Globemaster III heavy-lift aircraft form the Boeing Co.

Australian Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare announced that the acquisition would be made through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program for approximately $296 million.

The acquisition of the C-17A Globemaster III, built by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing, will significantly expand the operational capabilities of the Australian military, as it will double the number of C-17A aircraft available for operations at any one time from two to four, Australian Aviation magazine reported.

Boeing delivered the fifth Globemaster to Australia in September.

The Globemaster III aircraft's ability to transport very large and heavy cargoes over long distances will provide a significant contribution to Australia's ability to reach and respond more swiftly to events ranging from military interventions to civil disasters.

A single C17A can carry the equivalent of up to four C-130 Hercules transport loads in a single lift and cover twice the distance in three-quarters of the time needed by a C130 Hercules, the company said.

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