India To Buy 10 C-17 Heavy-Lift Aircraft From US
US defence major Boeing on Friday said India was planning to buy 10 C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift aircraft and the US government has received a 'Letter of Request' in this regard.
"Boeing is very pleased that the Indian government has expressed interest in acquiring the C-17 to modernise its airlift capabilities, and we look forward to working closely with them," Boeing Integrated Defense System's India head Vivek Lall said.
Defence Ministry sources said the request to the US government for the acquisition of C-17 was sent last year.
The IAF wants to procure the C-17 with a payload of around 75-80 tonnes, the only aircraft in this category, for augmenting its fleet of Russian IL-76 and An-32 transport aircraft.
The aircraft can lift around 200 fully-geared troops and can be used for carrying armoured vehicles, artillery guns and medium-sized helicopters from one place to another.
About the capabilities of the aircraft, Lall said the C-17 needs only 3,000 feet runway for take off and a very small crew to operate.
In the last three-four years, India has placed orders worth over $3.2 billion for procuring eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft and six C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft.
The C-17 deal, expected to be worth over $2.5 billion, would be done through Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route under which inter-governmental deal is signed for arms sales. The C-130Js were also procured through the same route. PTI