Australia — C‑17A Globemaster III Letter of Request

(Stephen Smith Min­is­ter for Defence & Jason Clare Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel)
Aus­tralia is inves­ti­gat­ing the pur­chase of an addi­tion­al C‑17A Globe­mas­ter III heavy lift air­craft Min­is­ter for Defence Stephen Smith said today.
Aus­tralia has sent a Let­ter of Request to the Unit­ed States regard­ing the poten­tial pur­chase of an addi­tion­al C‑17A air­craft through the Unit­ed States For­eign Mil­i­tary Sales pro­gram, for­mal­ly seek­ing cost and avail­abil­i­ty infor­ma­tion.

Mr Smith said the Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force cur­rent­ly had four C‑17A Air­craft. They were deliv­ered over the peri­od 2006 to 2008. The first of these became oper­a­tional in 2007, pro­vid­ing the Aus­tralian Defence Force with a glob­al air­lift capability. 

Recent events in Queens­land and Christchurch have under­lined the C 17s as an essen­tial part of Australia’s capac­i­ty to respond to nat­ur­al dis­as­ters both with­in Aus­tralia and with­in our region. 

While dis­as­ter relief has been a recent pub­lic focus for C‑17 oper­a­tions, they con­tin­ue to sup­port Aus­tralian and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Forces in Afghanistan and the Mid­dle East, meet­ing their pri­ma­ry pur­pose in pro­vid­ing mil­i­tary long-range heavy airlift. 

The C 17A air­craft can lift very large and heavy car­goes over long dis­tances pro­vid­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to Australia’s abil­i­ty to reach and respond to events. One C 17A can car­ry up to four C‑130 Her­cules loads in a sin­gle lift and cov­er twice the dis­tance in three-quar­ters of the time of a C 130 Hercules. 

Mr Smith said that acqui­si­tion of an addi­tion­al C‑17 would almost cer­tain­ly obvi­ate any need for the acqui­si­tion of two addi­tion­al C‑130J-30 air­craft under project AIR 8000 Phase 1. 

As out­lined in the Pub­lic Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan, the addi­tion­al C‑130J acqui­si­tion is planned for final deci­sion by Gov­ern­ment in the peri­od 2013–14 to FY 2014–15.

Fol­low­ing receipt of cost and avail­abil­i­ty infor­ma­tion from the Unit­ed States, the Gov­ern­ment will make a deci­sion about pur­chase based on capa­bil­i­ty, cost and sched­ule assess­ments of an addi­tion­al C‑17.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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