Peacekeeping: The Big Arab Birds Of Peace


July 21, 2008: Qatar is negotiating to buy four American C-17 aircraft, and use them mainly for humanitarian support, and to supply peacekeeping operations. The C-17 is a combat transport, and thus equipped to operate in primitive conditions. The C-17 has been very visible in combat zones, and disaster areas. During the last five years, many aid workers have flown in it, and been impressed by its ruggedness, reliability and capabilities.

A four three plane deal will cost about $800 million, although Qatar apparently wants to buy two, with an option to get two more in a hurry. Qatar has been blunt about wanting the aircraft so their efforts will be noticed, and a large transport will be seen landing in a disaster, with Arab markings on it.

 The C-17 can carry up to 77 tons of cargo, or 102 troops (along with some cargo). Vehicles can also be transported in the cargo compartment (88 feet long, 18 feet wide and 12 feet high.) There are currently 187 of these aircraft in service (173 in the U.S. Air Force, six in Britain, four in Australia, and four in Canada.)





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