Boeing [NYSE: BA] delivered the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s fourth C-17 Globemaster III today in Long Beach. The delivery reflects Qatar’s agreement with the U.S. government to acquire two additional C-17s, which brings the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) fleet of the world’s most advanced airlifters to a total of four as the C-17 continues to attract orders worldwide. Qatar received its third airlifter earlier this year.
„The C-17’s reliability, along with its unique strategic and tactical capabilities, has expanded our reach and ability to support missions worldwide on a moment’s notice,” said Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Malki, head of Qatar’s airlift committee. „Doubling our fleet strengthens our ability to support humanitarian, disaster-relief and peacekeeping missions.”
Qatar’s C-17s earlier this year supported the NATO-led operation in Libya and provided relief for drought victims in Kenya. In early 2010, QEAF C-17s delivered humanitarian aid to Haiti and Chile following devastating earthquakes.
„Boeing salutes the Qatar Emiri Air Force and its brave C-17 crews who continue to respond to crises around the world,” said Bob Ciesla, Boeing vice president, Airlift and C-17 program manager. „We are proud to be their partner and appreciate their confidence in the world’s most reliable airlifter.”
Qatar, the first Middle East nation to order the C-17, signed an agreement with Boeing on July 21, 2008, for two advanced airlifters and associated equipment and services, with options for two additional aircraft. Boeing delivered Qatar’s first two C-17s in 2009.
As a member of the worldwide C-17 „virtual fleet,” Qatar’s C-17s are supported through the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program, a performance-based logistics program. The GISP arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers – with varied fleet sizes – access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale when purchasing materials.
Boeing has delivered 249 C-17s worldwide, including 218 to the U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units. A total of 31 C-17s have been delivered to Australia, Canada, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. India has 10 C-17s on order for delivery in 2013 and 2014.