A RAAF C-17 Globemaster at Multinational Base Tarin Kot in Afghanistan.
A RAAF C-17 Globemaster at Multinational Base Tarin Kot in Afghanistan. Corporal Christopher Dickson

Another plane for Amberley?

ANOTHER one of the air force’s mammoth C-17A Globemaster planes could be on its way to Ipswich, said the Minister for Defence.

Four of the massive heavy lifters – which can carry tanks, helicopters and 134 troops – are already based at RAAF Base Amberley.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said his department was investigating the purchase of an additional C-17A Globemaster III to add to the existing fleet.

Mr Smith this week said the air force had formally contacted its United States counterparts, seeking cost and availability information.

He said the RAAF had its four C-17A Aircraft based at Amberley delivered from the United States between 2006 and 2008.

The first one became operational in 2007.

The C-17A’s played a vital role in the recent natural disasters that have hit our state this summer, flying food and supplies to flood-hit regions in Central Queensland.

A team of specialist search and rescue firefighters were flown by a C-17 from Amberley to New Zealand last week, to help in the Christchurch earthquake disaster.

Mr Smith said while disaster relief has been a recent public focus for C-17 operations, the planes continued to support Australian and international forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

He said after cost and availability information was received from the United States, the government would make a decision about buying an additional C-17A, based on capability, cost and schedule assessments.



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