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Royal Air Force gets a lift from C-17 Deal
« on: August 04, 2006, 15:13:47 »

Royal Air Force gets a lift from C-17 Deal
4 Aug 06
The Royal Air Force will get a fifth C-17 transport aircraft,to be delivered in 2008, in a deal announced today by Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Tom Watson.

An RAF C-17 Globemaster in flight.
[Picture: MOD]
The deal, signed by the Ministry of Defence and Boeing, will increase the size of the RAF’s C-17 fleet from four to five. The C-17 can carry outsized loads of equipment, such as armoured vehicles, logistics equipment and helicopters, and allows UK Armed Forces to be deployed rapidly around the world.

Tom Watson also announced that the RAF will purchase the four aircraft it currently leases at the end of the current contract with Boeing in 2008. This will give the RAF a guaranteed long term capacity in this area and significantly improve its heavy airlift capability.

Mr Watson said:

"The four RAF C-17s already play a vital role in supporting our Armed Forces across the world. The addition of a fifth aircraft to the fleet will increase our heavy lift capability. The aircraft will further improve our ability to transport troops and equipment quickly to wherever they are needed."

The C-17 can carry loads of up to 75 tonnes, fly distances up to 2,400 nautical miles, and land in remote, unpaved airfields in rough, land-locked regions. This makes it an invaluable asset for military, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. The new C-17 aircraft will join the rest of the C-17 fleet at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire when it enters service in 2008.

A C-17 unloads an RAF Sea King helicopter.
[Picture: MOD]
The contract has been signed with a “conditions precedent” of US Congressional Notification, which is expected in late September 2006. The four current RAF C-17 Globemasters were leased from The Boeing Company in 2001 on a 7 year lease with the option to buy or extend at the end of that period. The final contract value is commercially sensitive.

The aircraft’s capabilities:

Take off from a 7,600-ft. airfield, carry a payload of 160,000 pounds, fly 2,400 nautical miles and land in 3,000 ft. on a small airfield by day or night.
Carry 54 troops in addition to its equipment load or a total of 102 troops ready for combat.
All that is needed to operate the C-17 is a flight crew comprised of two pilots and one loadmaster, supported by advanced cargo systems and an advanced digital avionics system.
An externally blown flap system allows a steep, low-speed final approach with low-landing speeds for short-field landings.
Examples of missions:


Iraq and Afghanistan where it has been used extensively by the UK to transport items of military equipment including Chinook and Apache helicopters and Tornado F3 fighters.

SE Asia Tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake where it was used to deliver aid and large rescue equipment.
Russian submarine – delivering the rescue submersible.
Afghanistan – delivering support to a land-locked location