48, No. 4, March 23, 2006
purchase of the aircraft will be negotiated
over the next six weeks with a minimum of three
to be acquired.
first aircraft will be delivered directly from
the USAF and is scheduled to arrive in December
Globemaster has a cargo-carrying capacity equivalent
to the combined pallet load of three C-130s.
It can carry three Tiger Armed Reconnaissance
helicopters or a range of other helicopters,
including a CH-47 Chinook.
acquisition of the C-17 Globemaster III is a great outcome for
Air Lift Group, Air Force, the ADF and Australia.
Describing the acquisition, which was announced on March 3, as
A great outcome, Air Lift Group (ALG) Commander AIRCDRE
Glen Steed said while the question of a strategic airlifter has
been under examination for several years as part of the ADFs
sea and airlift capabilities, recent commitments have highlighted
that Australia lacks a large, oversized responsive global airlift
Historically, we have relied on our C-130 fleet and Boeing
707 force to meet our strategic and tactical airlift requirements
and to support Army, Navy, the wider ADF and also national support,
represented most recently by the Bali and tsunami emergencies,
AIRCDRE Steed said.
It became clear that we are lacking in the oversized and
bulk handling capacities and also rapid response.
The C-130s have done us proud over the past decades.
The C-130Js have really stepped up to the mark and proved themselves
to be the tactical airlifter of the future, but we can see a gap
in our airlift capability from the global perspective, from the
rapid response perspective and from a large bulkhandling/large
He said the ADF has a requirement for this capability, which will
bring a quantum leap in what it can deliver.
Weve always been constrained and thats been
more and more apparent as we find we are required by the Australian
public and Government to respond as quickly as we can to go anywhere
in the world, he said.
[Whether its to] support Coalition forces, our interests
and our people, evacuations such as Bali or provide support to
neighbouring countries such as Pakistan and the tsunami region
we do it in a large measure.
[The C-17] is giving us a great opportunity to reshape what
were trying to do. We must get into a much bigger capacity
and well move ahead where we see the need.
Director General Aerospace Development AIRCDRE Chris Deeble said
the aircraft were being acquired as part of a $2.2 billion package.
This includes the acquisition of up to four aircraft, associated
spares and equipment and training for air and ground crews,
AIRCDRE Deeble said.
It also includes squadron facilities and the provision of
improvements to handle heavy air lift cargo for selected air movement
Future upgrading of the aircraft is included as part of
the collaborative C-17 Globemaster Sustainment Partnership and
Global Reach Improvement Program.
AIRCDRE Steed said the acquisition will pose special challenges
for ALG. The current proposal is that No. 36SQN will fly the Globemaster
from RAAF Base Amberley.
The challenge will be working out how we move in a fairly
rapid timeframe from the current ALG organisation to a new one
by the end of the year that is comprised of C-130s, a mix of H
and J, as well as standing up a new C-17 squadron.
No. 36SQN has a proud history. It goes back many years to
WWII. Its one of the most historic squadrons in ALG and
to be going to this new capability with all its history is a fantastic
AIRCDRE Steed said the Globemaster should not be seen as a strategic
airlift capability, but as a combat airlift capability.
The aircraft will eventually do everything that the Air Force
lift does from a tactical as well as a strategic, long-range level.
We see it being able to operate across a whole range of
scenarios, he said.