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Image Gallery: December 2006

First C-17 arrives in Australia

04 December 2006

In March 2006 the Government announced plans for the acquisition these aircraft. Just nine months later, I am honoured to be present at the maiden flight into Australia of the first of four C-17s, which will be based at RAAF Amberley, to be operated by No 36 Squadron.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Air Force, the Defence Materiel Organisation, Boeing and the wider Defence community in ensuring the delivery of our aircraft in such a timely fashion.

As the government builds the strength of Australia’s Defence Force, to protect our people, interests and values, it is important we have the capacity to move our personnel and equipment into other parts of the world and across Australia, when and where we need them.

The C-17 is capable of carrying almost four times the load, over twice the distance, as the C130 Hercules. Each C-17 is capable of carrying five Bushmaster Infantry Vehicles, or three Tiger helicopters, or up to 75 tonnes of equipment and supplies for emergency relief.

As well as enhancing the responsiveness of our Defence Force, our C-17s will increase Australia’s independence. We will no longer need to rely on leasing ageing Antonov aircraft, or wait in queues for American heavy airlift.

The ADF’s acquisition of the C-17 delivers significant benefit to Australian Industry with inclusion in the project of an Australian Industry Partnership program valued at about $345 Million.