Boeing delivered yesterday the first of 6 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters to the UAE Air Force and Air Defence during a ceremony at its final assembly facility in Long Beach, California.
“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 Major General 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 3 more C-17s this year and 2 in 2012 as it modernizes its airlift capabilities.
“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,” said Chris Chadwick, President, Boeing Military Aircraft, who attended the ceremony in Long Beach.
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 multi-national Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) 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
utilization of shared resources across the entire C-17 fleet.
“No other airlifter can transport large payloads across vast ranges without refueling, land on short, austere runways, and operate in extremely hot and cold climates,” added Bob Ciesla, Boeing C-17 Program Manager.
With a full payload of 170,000 pounds, the 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 of them with international customers.