Boeing’s C-17 Aircrew Training System has its first customer outside the United States—the Royal Australian Air Force.
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del, at the helm of a Boeing C-17 Aircrew Training System
The ATS arrived at RAAF Base Amberley between April 26 and May 2 in two loads aboard C-17 Globemaster III airlifters operated by the RAAF's No. 36 Squadron.
The system, provided through a U.S. Air Force Foreign Military Sales contract, will be used to train RAAF C-17 pilots and loadmasters when it goes into operation in January 2010. It consists of a weapons systems trainer, a loadmaster station, a learning center and support systems.
"Delivery of the first international C-17 ATS to Australia brings value and aircrew availability to our RAAF customer," said Nigel Page, Boeing Defence Australia C-17 ATS site lead. "Until now, all RAAF C-17 aircrews have been trained in the United States. The introduction of a local training capability will save the RAAF a considerable amount of money and time."
The C-17 Globemaster III is a workhorse heavy-lift aircraft used around the world. The U.S. Air Force had about 180 of the aircraft at the end of 2008.
Engineers from Boeing and simulator manufacturer Flight Safety International will install the system in a purpose-built facility at Amberley. Boeing Defence Australia will provide instructors for aircrews' initial qualification and continuation training once the ATS goes into operation.
"The shipment of the C-17 simulator components to Amberley represents a great milestone toward the achievement of Australian-based C-17 aircrew training,” said Group Capt. Andrew Doyle, new Airlift program director for the RAAF. “We look forward to the successful installation of the simulator over the forthcoming months and the commissioning of this fantastic capability."
The RAAF's No. 36 Squadron operates four C-17 Globemaster III airlifters from Amberley, all delivered by Boeing between November 2006 and January 2008.
The Australian C-17 ATS will be the 12th Boeing-developed, -operated and -supported ATS site. A total of 11 sites are currently active in the United States, providing training to the U.S. Air Force and customers in the United Kingdom and Canada.
The C-17 ATS guarantees very high graduation rates, meaning that Boeing provides remedial training if aircrews do not pass their flight evaluations. Each year, the ATS provides instruction to more than 1,500 new pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster students and follow-up training to more than 8,000 students globally.
The system is produced by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Training Systems & Services.