Adding to the Royal Family

The Royal Air Force will purchase an additional C-17, raising Britain’s Globemaster III fleet to eight aircraft, announced British Prime Minister David Cameron. “This latest addition to the RAF fleet will further strengthen the vital air bridge between Britain and Afghanistan, ensuring critical deliveries are made to the front line,” said British defense minister Philip Hammond in a Feb. 8 release. Following savage cuts the last two years, Cameron said that budget discipline and savings freed the funding to purchase an additional airlifter. “This aircraft is becoming an absolutely brilliant workhorse for the RAF in terms of bringing men and material into a war zone like Afghanistan, but also evacuating civilians in times of need,” added Cameron. Already on Boeing’s production line at Long Beach, Calif., the airframe is expected to join 99 Squadron with the rest of the British C-17 fleet based at RAF Brize Norton this July, states the release.