Defence Equipment & Support has signed a £2.6M maintenance contract for the Royal Air Force’s fleet of C-17A Globemaster aircraft.

According to the Royal Air Force here, the contract for increasing maintenance support will help improve the overall availability of the RAF fleet of eight Globemasters.

“These long range, heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft can operate close to potential area of operations for combat, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions worldwide.”

Boeing already provides in-country support to the RAF’s Globemaster aircraft, which includes assisting 99 Squadron, preventative maintenance and local periodic maintenance carried out in the UK. This is in addition to more extensive maintenance which is undertaken around once every five years at Boeing in San Antonio, Texas, USA.


Darren Astall, DE&S C-17 Delivery Team Leader, said in a statement:

“This new contract creates 25 skilled jobs and ensures the UK’s C-17 aircraft will continue to be maintained by highly experienced technicians. This is great news for the prosperity of RAF Brize Norton and the surrounding Oxfordshire area. It is also a great example of how we work closely with industry to deliver specialised support to our customer, the RAF, while creating valuable job opportunities.

A C-17 Availability Report recently concluded that additional contractor support was required, so I am delighted we are now meeting the enduring needs of our customer with this arrangement.”

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Levi Goldsteinberg

One of the best acquisitions the MoD has made in a long time those planes. Set us leagues ahead of any other European nation in terms of logistical capability


Should we try and get more of these or is 8 enough?


Production ended five years ago.

Paul T

Yes,the Last one off the Production Line was Bought by India,id guess that with the A400 being Delivered the RAF thought that 8 were Sufficient.

John Clark

Additional examples could probably be procured from USAF stocks.

The USAF was forced to take more than it wanted for political reasons and we could procure another 4 second hand examples if required, I am sure, probably at a good price too….

An additional buy of A400’s (8 more) and 4 more C17’s would be very useful if we are serious about deploying Strike brigades quickly….


I suggested this some time ago and was shot down. It was suggested that usaf did not have spare aircraft in storage! I think that you right though. Anybody know for a fact that this is a case….no spoofers please


See my answer above…


The USAF have none spare for sale and are investigating ways to increase their own C17 fleet availability possibly through purchasing more KC-46 in a cargo only C-46 configuration or another wide body type like the 747-8. Whilst originally being forced to buy more than they wanted, the USAF has changed its position on the matter and now wants to utilise the C17 for tasks that were allocated to the C-130. They don’t even have any at AMARG, the whole fleet is being heavily used and the idea of the UK getting more C17 off the USAF is wishful thinking… Read more »

John Clark

Understand, I’m obviously out of date here then…. Well, plan B, buy additional A400’s, perhaps make a play for unwanted examples ordered by project member countries. I would revise my figure of a total fleet of 30 though and go for 40. If we are actually serious about the mobile strike brigades, then we need ‘serious’ airlift, to enable elements to respond rapidly. If we can move viable combat formations into position quickly, they will have much the same effect as our new Carrier capability, in that it shows ‘intent’, this can be a deterrent to conflict in its own… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Agree. To me they are a double edged sword, like RFA vessels. Useful for military ops in peace and war and with great HADR utility too.

I still love the old Belfast!

John Clark

Hi Daniele, ‘if’ we are moving away from MBT’s and end the ability to assemble an armoured division, then we must fully finance and equip the light strike brigades. . That means an increase in heavy transport capabilities and perhaps a bigger AH64E buy, plus light air transportable equipment for the army. So I would envisage a fleet of 40 A400’s, 8 C17’s and the 13 C130’s remaining as a main transport force. We’re already quite well equipped with Chinook though…. The point being, if we can’t assemble and deploy a well armed and supplied force, ready to fight and… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by John Clark
Peter Crisp

Has a replacement design been talked about or any plans to begin the process yet? I assume it would take quite a while to go from a blank sheet of paper to something as well ragarded as the C-17.


No, the global C17 fleet is mid life with many years of service ahead of them. They are all going through MLU which updates systems and replaces those that are obsolete. There has been some talk about a possible SLEP that would further modernise systems, introduce new technologies and fit new engines…plus no doubt various structural upgrades to extend their fatigue life. The USAF hasn’t yet established a clear future plan for its transport fleet beyond looking to improve C-5M availability and a possible purchase of a wide body cargo conversion airline (possibly a C-46) to carry loads that don’t… Read more »