Kuwaiti C-17 Emerges

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The first of two Boeing C-17 Globemasters destined for the Kuwait Air Force has emerged from the company’s Long Beach assembly line.

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The aircraft is the second C-17 to wear a high-visibility colour scheme, wearing the bright white and silver scheme also worn by the air arm’s L-100 Hercules. Qatar’s Emiri Air Force also operates a colourful C-17 which wears the colours of the national carrier, Qatar Airways, although it is flown by air force pilots.

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Boeing has not formally confirmed Kuwait as a customer for the heavy airlifter, but it will join a rapidly growing population of C-17s in the Gulf Region. The type is already flying with aforementioned Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia maybe in the bidding for at least some of the 13 “white-tailed” aircraft being produced by Long Beach before the C-17 line closes in 2015.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) detailed a request from Kuwait for a single C-17 back in September 2010. The country then registered interest in a second aircraft in April 2013.

The C-17, photographed by Californian photographer, Michael Carter, is yet to make its first flight, but should be delivered in the coming weeks. 

Kuwait is modernizing its air arm. As well as C-17s, it is also investing in KC-130J Hercules and is also looking at purchasing a new fighter aircraft to replace its McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornets.

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