The US DoD and Congress have approved a multi-year procurement for 80 additional C-17s for the USAF. This brings the planned fleet total to 120 aircraft by 2005. The decision followed the successful conclusion of a reliability, maintainability and availability demonstration concluded in August 1995 and involving the first squadron of 12 aircraft. By October 1996. 28 of the first 40 aircraft had been delivered.


The last of 209 F-15E strike aircraft for USAF was delivered in July 1994, but production was resumed to fulfil orders from Saudi Arabia for 72 F-15Ss and from Israel for 21 F-15Is. The first Saudi aircraft was delivered in September 1995.

MDC has submitted a proposal to restart F-15E production for the USAF, at a cost of $50m or less per aircraft. The USAF has stated a requirement for additional aircraft.

The F-15E carries Lockheed Martin LANTIRN night navigation and targeting pods and the Hughes APG-70 radar is capable of high-resolution synthetic-aperture ground mapping.


MDC rolled out the first improved F-18E/F on 18 September, 1995,.with a first flight in November. The USN plans to acquire 1,000 F-18E/Fs to replace early F-18A/Bs and Grumman F-14s. Initial operational capability is planned for 2004.

The E/F is a structural upgrade of the F-18 and is 25% larger, with 33% more internal fuel and 35% higher thrust than for the C/D. The aircraft is powered by two GE F414s. Radar signature is reduced.

Delivery of 64 F-18C/Ds to Finland has begun, to be followed by the delivery of 34 F-18C/Ds to Switzerland and eight two-seat night-attack F-18Ds to Malaysia. These aircraft have uprated GE F404-402 engines and improved Hughes APG-73 radar. Thailand has indicated its intention to purchase 18 F-18Ds. Development of an RF-18D reconnaissance variant for the US Marine Corps continues.


Production of the tanker/transport version of the DC-10 tri-jet airliner ended after 60 were built for the USAF, but MDC and KLM have converted two ex-Martinair DC-10-30CFs to KDC-10 tanker/ transports for the Royal Netherlands air force.

Source: Flight International