Australia has formally requested “up to four” more Boeing C-17A Globemaster III airlifters from the US government, a notification by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) posted on 12 November shows.

The notification states that up to four C-17s and associated equipment, parts and logistical support have been requested for an estimated $1.6 billion. The extra equipment includes 19 Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 engines, four AN/AAQ-24V Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) sets, and various other electronic warfare, communications and navigation systems. It also includes unspecified spares and repair parts, supply and test equipment, training and training equipment, technical documentation, logistics, and technical support services.

The formal notification comes after Australia's defence minister David Johnston indicated to media in August that the government was looking at acquiring additional C-17s and Airbus Military KC-30A (A330) MRTT tankers. He later confirmed the its intention to acquire between two and four more C-17s in a 3 October media statement.

The DSCA notification accompanies the required certification from the US State Department notifying Congress of the sale, and is considered a formality in the foreign military sales process.

If all four aircraft are acquired, it will take the Royal Australian Air Force’s fleet of C-17s to 10, the second largest fleet of the type after that of the USAF. The RAAF’s C-17s are operated by No 36 Squadron based at RAAF Base Amberley, near Brisbane.

With production of the C-17 due to end in 2015, Boeing has built about 10 ‘white tailed’ aircraft that are expected to be sold to new or existing customers of the aircraft. There is believed to be interest for additional aircraft from India, Canada and the UK, and possibly new customers in the Middle East.

Source: Cirium Dashboard