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Boeing c-17 globemaster iii in australian service

The meaning of «boeing c-17 globemaster iii in australian service»

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) operates eight Boeing C-17 Globemaster III large transport aircraft. Four C-17s were ordered in mid-2006 to improve the ability of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to operate outside Australia and its region. The aircraft entered service between November 2006 and January 2008, the second pair being delivered ahead of schedule. Two more Globemasters were ordered in 2011, the sixth being delivered to the RAAF in November 2012. Another two C-17s were ordered in October 2014, with the final aircraft being delivered in November 2015. The Globemasters are built to the same specifications as those operated by the United States Air Force (USAF), and the Australian aircraft are maintained through an international contract with Boeing.

All of the RAAF's Globemasters are assigned to No. 36 Squadron and are based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland. The aircraft have supported ADF operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in the Middle East, as well as training exercises in Australia and the United States. They have also transported supplies and personnel as part of relief efforts following natural disasters in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and several other countries. The C-17s are highly regarded throughout the Australian military for their ability to carry large amounts of cargo across long distances, and the process through which they were acquired has been identified as an example of good practice in defence procurement.

The RAAF began considering options for heavy transport aircraft to provide a strategic airlift capability during the early 2000s. This investigation was initiated after the ADF deployment to East Timor in 1999 and operations in the Middle East from 2001 revealed shortcomings in the RAAF's ability to transport the increasingly large and heavy vehicles and other items of equipment used by the Australian Army. To support these operations, the ADF found that it needed long-range aircraft capable of carrying larger loads than could be accommodated in the RAAF's force of Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports. As a result of this capability gap, the ADF needed to use USAF transports and chartered Russian-built commercial heavy lift aircraft to move supplies and equipment from Australia to its forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East. This experience proved frustrating, as both categories of aircraft were often not available and the commercial transports were expensive to lease.[2][3] The crash of a civil-chartered Ilyushin Il-76 in East Timor in 2003 also raised concerns within the ADF about the safety of the Russian transport aircraft.[4] Following advocacy from the military, the Australian Government announced as part of an update to its national security strategy in December 2005 that it would consider acquiring heavy lift aircraft to supplement the RAAF's Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transports.[4][5] This initiative was one of several measures announced in the government's Defence Update 2005 paper, which sought to better prepare the ADF to operate in locations distant from Australia.[6]

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