Canada took possession of the first of four CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft on August 9, 2007.
"This is Canada's first strategic airlift capability aircraft, and not only is it great in size and great in strength, but great in significance," said Minister O'Connor. "With this aircraft, our Canadian Forces will now be able to move critical capabilities to the places where they are needed, at the time they are needed."
Rapid, reliable and flexible - the strategic and tactical CC-177 Globemasters have just what it takes to transport of large amounts of passengers and equipment over long distances in response to domestic emergencies or international crises.
Boeing's C-17 (officially designated as the CC-177 in Canada) is Canada's newest airlift purchase and will help provide everything from rapid strategic delivery of troops to cargo transport of oversized combat equipment from coast to coast and to anywhere in the world - including to our troops in Afghanistan.
The Globemaster will be flown with night vision goggles which will give it a huge tactical advantage when flying into threatening territory. Operated by a crew of three - pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster - the CC-177 is equipped with an advanced digital avionics system, has a maximum range of approximately 5,500 nautical miles and can carry a payload of up to 160,000 pounds. To illustrate the power of these aircraft, their four engines - Pratt & Whitney 2040 series - each produce 40,440 pounds of thrust.
But perhaps most useful of all, the CC-177's ability to fly long distances and land in remote airfields makes it a premier transporter for military, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. Its ability to take off and land on unpaved runways as short as 3,500 feet and as narrow as 90 feet wide during the day or night, is a very practical trait.
The strategic airlift capacity of the C-17 will ensure the Canadian Forces can quickly move heavy equipment, supplies or passengers over long distances, when and where needed in Canada or overseas.
Generators, water purification equipment, medical equipment and/or food supplies are examples of some of the life-saving cargo that strategic airlift can deliver to Canadians, or to those in need around the world, in emergency situations.
"The only other aircraft that is bigger than this is the C-5 Galaxy, but it needs 8000 feet to land!" says Master Warrant Officer Dan Daniels of the CC-177 Project Management Office (PMO) in Ottawa. "With the Globemaster we can land at 3000 feet. It impresses me that it can fly high, it can fly fast, and it can land on short runways in austere locations with a lot of weight. It exceeds anything we've ever had before."
In contrast to the CC-150 Polaris-with limited cargo-carrying capacity-that the Canadian Forces have used for strategic airlift in the past, the Globemaster can carry heavy generators, water purification equipment, hospital units and food supplies that is needed in emergency situations near and far to save lives.
Canada becomes the third international C-17 customer, following the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. Boeing will deliver the second Canadian C-17 in October and the final two aircraft in 2008.