WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 24 June 2010. U.S. Air Force leaders on Tuesday ordered eight Boeing C-17 Globemaster III rapid strategic airlift aircraft designed to operate from main operating bases or forward operating bases with short or unimproved runways. Boeing will build the large cargo aircraft at its Global Mobility Systems segment in Long Beach, Calif., under terms of a $1.5 billion contract.
Awarding the contract were officials of the Air Force 516th Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, which is responsible modernization, development, test, production, deployment, and sustainment of the C-17 aircraft, its avionics, and its F117 engines, which are military version of the Pratt & Whitney PW2040 engines that power the Boeing 757 commercial jetliner.
The C-17 is designed to operate from paved and unpaved runways as short as 3,500 feet and as narrow as 90 feet. Its thrust reversers can back the aircraft and reverse direction on narrow taxiways. The aircraft is large and powerful enough to carry the 70-ton M1 Abrams main battle tank.
In addition to the United States, its operators include the military forces of Australia, Canada, India, NATO, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.