The retirement of the C-17 transport aircraft could be brought forward, or extended, as part of the Integrated Review.
The ‘Integrated Review’, to give it its full title the ‘Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy’ is effectively a defence review. The review was previously described by Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War and will be published later this month.
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, stated in response to a written Parliamentary question regarding the retirement date of the C-17 fleet:
“The out of service date for the C-17 aircraft is currently set for 2040 but is subject to the Integrated Review.”
The Royal Air Force website describes the C-17 in the following way:
“The C-17 Globemaster III (Globemaster C-17) is a longrange, heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft that can operate close to a potential area of operations for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide.
C-17 is capable of rapid, strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases anywhere in the world. The Globemaster’s load-bearing rear ramp and digitally controlled loading systems, combined with the skills of its crews and ground handlers, enable large, complex items of equipment, including Chinook helicopters, military vehicles and other heavy items of specialist kit to be loaded.”