Indian Defence Ministry has signed the Letter of Acceptance for the ten C-17 Globemaster III heavy lift from the U.S this week after the Cabinet Committee of Security cleared the deal earlier this month. The aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, will cost $ 4.1 billion and will be delivered in four years in this biggest Indo-US defence deal ever.
The Letter of Offer and Acceptance signed between the Indian and US governments this week entails that the Globemaster manufacturer Boeing will also establish a high-altitude engine test facility as well as a tri-sonic wind tunnel facility at the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for testing and R&D of aero engines and aerodynamic bodies. The Globemaster deal stipulates that Boeing will plough back $ 1 billion into India as the offsets obligation. Boeing will acquire some products and services from public and private Indian defence
In another recent development, according to Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshall P.V.Naik, it has been decided that the IAF would go in for another six C-17 s after the first ten are inducted and evaluated. The current deal has made India as the C-17's largest international customer. India will take delivery of its C-17s in 2013 and 2014.
According to a statement released by Boeing, it will support India’s C-17 fleet through the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership (GSP), a proven multinational Performance-Based Logistics program. This will ensure the mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers with an access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale when purchasing materials.
The C-17 Globemaster aircraft, powered by four digitally-controlled Pratt and Whitney's engines, is being offered in its latest US Air Force configuration, duly customized as per IAF requirements. C-17 Globemaster can carry a payload of 75 tonnes and can land and take-off from airstrips of 3,000 feet. A tactical and strategic airlifter, the C-17 can land combat-ready troops in remote locations or airdrop them directly where needed. The C-17's ability to back up allows it to operate from narrow taxiways. The aircraft is ideal for India due to its ability to transport large payloads across vast ranges, its ability to land on short runways and operate in extremely hot and cold climates.