More C-17s for Australia

Congress was notified of an Australian request for four additional C-17 Globemaster III airlifters under a potential $1.6 billion foreign military sales deal, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced. “Australia this year announced its intention to procure additional C-17s from the remaining eight available,” Boeing spokeswoman Tiffany Pitts told Air Force Magazine on Nov. 13. “This potential order does not impact our closure schedule” for the C-17 production line, she added. Boeing currently has 10 airframes in progress on its Long Beach, Calif., production line, which is slated to close the middle of next year. Of these, two have already been sold to an “unnamed customer,” Pitts said. The proposed sale would boost the Royal Australian Air Force’s C-17 fleet to 10 airframes, and deliver spare engines, avionics, communications, self defensive systems, training, maintenance, and support. “Australia is an important ally and partner that contributes significantly to peacekeeping and humanitarian operations,” according to the Nov. 12 DSCA release.