Abu Dhabi: US-based Boeing plans to deliver four C-17 aircraft ordered two years ago by the UAE Armed Forces between now and the end of 2012, a senior company executive told Gulf News yesterday.

"Two of these aircraft will be delivered to the UAE in 2011 and the remaining two in 2012," the Boeing executive said without specifying an exact time frame for the deliveries.

The Boeing executive is attending the 10th International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex-2011) which got under way yesterday.

Airborne systems

Some 950 exhibitors from 50 countries are participating in Idex with as many as 151 firms from the UAE.

The exhibition showcases the latest defence equipment and services for land, sea and airborne systems with participants including national and international delegations, procurement officials, industry analysts, military strategists as well as the world's leading defence contractors.

During Idex 2009 the UAE Armed Forces announced the purchase of four C-17 aircraft from Boeing and 12 C-130J aircraft from Lockheed Martin, the two deals cumulatively valued at Dh11 billion.

"The purchase of transport aircraft is to meet the requirements of the UAE Armed Forces with regard to strategic and tactical air transport and to actively participate in rescue and humanitarian missions worldwide," Major General Obaid Al Katbi, spokesperson for the event, said then.

"Al Waha Capital had been assigned the task of purchasing and managing the aircraft," he said.

The Boeing C-17 is a large military transport aircraft.

Developed for the US Air Force from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas, the C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases.