WASHINGTON — US aerospace giant Boeing said on Wednesday it has won a contract from the United Arab Emirates for six C-17 military aircraft, making the UAE the second Middle East nation to order the airlifter.
UAE will take delivery of four C-17s in 2011 and two in 2012 in the deal, whose "financial terms are not being disclosed," Boeing and the UAE said in a joint statement.
The C-17 Globemaster III advanced airlifter can carry large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid across international distances to small "austere" airfields anywhere in the world, the company said.
Capable of carrying a full payload of 170,000 pounds (77 tonnes), the C-17 can fly 2,400 nautical miles (2,762 miles, 4,445 kilometers) and land in 3,000 feet (914 meters) or less.
"The C-17 will give the UAE the ability to perform a variety of humanitarian and strategic lift operations around the world in support of both national and international missions," Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE major general staff pilot, said in the statement.
"These missions require us to be ready for any contingency at any time and any place, and the C-17 meets our requirements."
The UAE announced last year it would upgrade its airlift capabilities with the C-17.
Qatar was the first Middle East nation to order the airlifter, which currently numbers 212 in service worldwide, including 193 owned by the US Air Force, Boeing said. The C-17 planes have 19 international customers, including the British, Canadian and Australian air forces.
"Boeing is pleased that the UAE Air Force has selected the C-17 to meet its airlift requirements for the 21st century," said Jean Chamberlin, Boeing vice president of global mobility systems.
"The C-17 consistently posts mission capability rates that are among the best in the world, earning it high marks for its industry-leading quality and reliability."
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