LONG BEACH, Calif., March 28 (UPI) -- An eighth C-17 Globemaster III will be delivered to the British air force this year under a new contract to Boeing from the country's Ministry of Defense.
The British C-17s are used primarily to support Operation Herrick, the transport of equipment and troops to Afghanistan but also participate in humanitarian missions around the world, such as the delivery of relief supplies following natural disasters.
"The tremendous teamwork of Boeing and U.S. government officials has made it possible to announce this acquisition so quickly after we determined the need for this additional C-17," said Ministry of Defense Head of Commercial for Air Support Robin Philip. "This C-17 will be a welcome addition to the (air force) fleet."
The British air force was Boeing's first international customer for the heavy lift aircraft, and its fleet has logged more than 74,000 flight hours – about 15 percent more than had been anticipated.
The last C-17 purchased was delivered in November 2010.
"We understand the need to move quickly to bring this contract to completion," said Liz Pace, Boeing C-17 UK program manager. "This additional order is a testament to our strong relationship with the U.K. as well as to the aircraft's advanced capability, flexibility and reliability."