Kiwis Considering C-17

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is considering the C-17 as a replacement for its legacy C-130 airlift and Boeing 757 transport fleets, according to press reports. “The disadvantage New Zealand has with a small budget is that we have to make a single piece of equipment do a number of jobs,” said defense ministry spokesman Phil Goff, quoted in The New Zealand Herald. Boeing is currently building the last C-17 ahead of the Long Beach, Calif., production line’s closure later this year, and “we owe it to ourselves to look at it seriously while we still can,” added Goff. Neighboring Australia recently requested four additional C-17s, bringing its total fleet to 10 airframes. Boeing built 10 unsold airframes, of which four would still notionally be available for sale to New Zealand. Members of parliament evaluated the aircraft on an orientation flight Feb. 16.