Boeing delivered the first of six C-17 Globemaster III airlifters to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and Air Defence during a ceremony at the company’s final assembly facility in Long Beach.
“It is with great pride that we accept delivery of our first C-17, which will help expand our ability to perform humanitarian and strategic-lift missions in the region and around the world,” said Maj. Gen. Staff Pilot Mohammed bin Suwaidan Saeed Al Qamzi, UAE Air Force and Air Defence commander. “The C-17’s advanced capabilities, high reliability, and mission readiness rate met all of our requirements.”
The UAE will take delivery of three more C-17s this year and two in 2012 as it modernizes its airlift capabilities.
“I am proud to say that the first C-17 airlifter delivered to the United Arab Emirates was built in the great state of California. C-17s can be seen in the skies over California and around the world delivering humanitarian aid to those in need, even to the most remote runways in the world,” said California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. “My hope and mission is to make sure that we keep this capability alive and keep this production line rolling.”
“Congratulations to the UAE Air Force and Air Defence as they join the worldwide community of C-17 operators,” said Chris Chadwick, president, Boeing Military Aircraft. “We pledge that your commitment to the C-17 will be backed up by Boeing’s expertise, support and dedication — wherever your crews fly the finest airlifter the world has ever known.”
As a member of the worldwide C-17 “virtual fleet,” the UAE’s C-17s will be supported through Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership, a proven multinational Performance-Based Logistics program. Through the virtual fleet concept, C-17 customers receive comprehensive worldwide logistics support (spares, support equipment, tech orders, sustaining engineering, and on-site field teams) through use of shared resources across the entire C-17 fleet. This highly successful program ensures high levels of mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers — regardless of fleet size — cost-effective access to an extensive support program.
The C-17 can transport large payloads across vast ranges without refueling, land on short, austere runways, and operate in extremely hot and cold climates. With a full payload of 170,000 pounds, a C-17 can fly 2,400 nautical miles and land in 3,000 feet or less.
There are currently 231 C-17s in service worldwide — 21 with international customers. The U.S. Air Force, including active Guard and Reserve units, has 210. Other international customers include the Qatar Emiri Air Force, the UK Royal Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.