ST. LOUIS, July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and the government of Qatar signed an agreement on July 21 for the purchase of the C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to provide new strategic-airlift mobility capabilities for the Qatar Armed Forces (QAF). Qatar will sign a Foreign Military Sales agreement for contractor logistics support with the U.S. Air Force.
Boeing will begin deliveries from its Long Beach, Calif., C-17 factory, in summer 2009.
"Boeing is pleased that Qatar joins its international partners -- the U.S. Air Force, the UK Royal Air Force, Canadian Forces and the Royal Australian Air Force -- in selecting the C-17, the world's leading airlifter, to modernize its defense forces' airlift fleet," said Jean Chamberlin, vice president and general manager, Global Mobility Systems. "We look forward to delivering C-17s and a new world-class airlift capability to Qatar, with the industry-leading safety, quality and reliability that all C-17 customers enjoy."
"The QAF is very pleased to be acquiring C-17s," said H.E. Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah, chief of staff, Qatar Armed Forces. "The C-17 Globemaster III is a world-class strategic and tactical airlifter that has proven itself repeatedly around the world. This agreement marks a new era in Qatar's ability to provide strategic airlift in support of our military and humanitarian operations."
Boeing is on contract to design, build, deliver and support 190 U.S. Air Force C-17s, and the company will soon negotiate the contract for 15 additional C-17s that were approved in the 2008 Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Bill. There are currently 189 C-17s in service worldwide. The U.S. Air Force, including active Guard and Reserve units, has 175. The Royal Air Force has six, the Canadian Forces has four and the Royal Australian Air Force has four.
"The QAF closely evaluated the available options for airborne strategic lift and determined the C-17 best fit the requirements for the State of Qatar," said Staff Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Malki, head of Qatar's airlift selection committee. "The aircraft forms the core of the nation's strategic airborne lift capability."
As the only tactical airlifter with strategic range, the C-17 has become the world's airlifter of choice. Capable of flying between continents and landing on short, austere runways, the C-17 is used worldwide for both military and humanitarian missions.
"We continue to see strong international interest in C-17s," said Tommy Dunehew, Boeing International C-17 program manager. "Reliability and maintainability are two outstanding benefits of the C-17 system."
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.1 billion business with 71,000 employees worldwide.
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