Despite earlier speculation, the Ministry of Defence have confirmed that there are “no plans” to reduce the size of the Royal Air Force fleet of C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.
The information came to light after a written question was submitted in Parliament.
Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the Defence Committee, asked via a written Parliamentary question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to reduce the size of the fleet of RAF C-17 transport planes.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“There are no plans to reduce the C-17 Globemaster fleet from its current size of eight aircraft.”
Quin had said previously in response to a 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.”