UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


C-17 Globemaster III - Foreign Military Sales

In addition to the C-17s it built for the US Air Force, the company delivered over three dozen aircraft to Australia, Canada, India, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, the UK and the NATO Strategic Airlift Capability.

On 04 September 2000 the United Kingdom finalised a contract to lease four C-17 aircraft to fulfil the Short Term Strategic Airlift requirement. All four aircraft were delivered for service with the Royal Air Force by September 2001. Defence Procurement Minister Baroness Symons said: "This is a significant step towards providing, in the short-term, the rapid deployment capability promised in the Strategic Defence Review conclusions. With C-17 we are joining the successful partnership of the United States Air Force and the Boeing Company, and the UK is benefiting from the success of this established management team." The Strategic Defence Review confirmed that the RAF had a long-term requirement to replace its ageing air transport fleet and also identified a shortfall in strategic airlift capability in the interim. The short term requirement will be met by the lease of four Boeing C-17 aircraft. The longer term requirement will be met by the purchase of 25 Airbus A400M. The UK's aircraft will be the same as those being delivered to the United States Air Force (USAF). Maintenance and spare parts management, as well as aircrew and maintenance personnel training, will be provided through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contracts with the USAF.

The arrival of these aircraft was an important boost for the UK's defence capability. Each of the C-17s will be capable of carrying a wide variety of heavy equipment, ranging from a Challenger tank or three Warrior armoured vehicles, to three of the Army's new Apache attack helicopters or 13 Landrover light trucks. RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire is the operating base for the Royal Air Force's giant C-17 transport aircraft. Basing the aircraft at Brize Norton will create up to 158 additional posts - 157 service and one civilian - at the station.

On 3 April 2006, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of up to four C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft, as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $2 billion. The Government of Australia requested a possible sale of up to four C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft, up to 18 Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 engines, up to four AN/AAQ-24V(13) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Systems, up to 15 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles; Personnel Life Support equipment, spare and repair parts, supply support, training equipment and support, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $2 billion.

Australia is one of America's most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. Australia's efforts in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations have made a significant impact to regional, political, and economic stability and have served U.S. national security interests. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives and facilitates burden sharing with our allies.

Australia does not have a heavy airlift capability and must rely on outside sources for these services. This assistance normally takes the form of either U.S. Air Force airlift or contract carriers that use Russian heavy airlift aircraft. The C-17 will greatly improve Australia's capability to rapidly deploy in support of global coalition operations and will also greatly enhance its ability to lead regional humanitarian/peacekeeping operations.

Australia has the ability to absorb and employ the C-17. It plans on basing the C-17s at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberly. RAAF Base Amberly will become the primary base for airlift and tanker aircraft and is currently undergoing the infrastructure upgrades required to support the C-17 and other large aircraft Australia has currently contracted to purchase.

On 23 April 2010 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress on of a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of 10 Boeing C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft and associated equipment, parts, and logistical support for an estimated cost of $5.8 billion. The Government of India (GOI) requested a possible sale of 10 Boeing C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft, 45 F117-PW-100 engines (40 installed and 5 spare engines), 10 AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing Systems, 10 AN/AAR-47Missile Warning Systems, spare and repairs parts, repair and return, warranty, pyrotechnics, flares, other explosives, aircraft ferry and refueling support, crew armor, mission planning system software, communication equipment and support, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $5.8 billion.

In June 2011 India's Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the United States government to acquire 10 C-17. The deal was the largest defense contract to date by the Indian government with the US. India will take delivery of the first C-17 in June 2013. The Indian Air Force will have all the 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifters by August 2014.

India will likely use these aircraft to replace its aging aircraft and associated supply chain with new and highly reliable aircraft. The acquisition of these C-17s will not present a new capability for the Indian Air Force, but will offer an increase in airlift capacity, reliability, and safety. The C-17 will increase the ability of the GOI to mobilize troops and equipment within the country and will enable India to provide significantly increased humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support within the region. Additionally, the C-17s will facilitate enhanced standardization with the United States. India will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 08-04-2015 20:16:00 ZULU