Indian Air Force's 1st C-17 moves closer
The first C-17 Globemaster III airlifter for the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been delivered by Boeing and will now enter a US Air Force flight test programme at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California. This is the first of ten C-17 aircraft to be delivered by the company as part of a foreign military sales agreement signed between the Indian and US governments in 2011.
Boeing said it is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014. Once the deliveries are complete India will field the largest C-17 fleet outside of the US.
Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attaché at the Embassy of India, said of the delivery: ‘The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the Indian Air Force when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010. It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with Indian Air Force markings, as the airlifter completed its first-flight milestone on January 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India.’
Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager, added: ‘The C-17's ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates; transport large payloads across vast ranges; and land on short, austere runways makes it ideal for India's airlift needs. We value our continued partnership with India and the US government and will provide dedicated support as India's first C-17 enters flight testing.’
Boeing will also support the IAF C-17 fleet through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract. The GISP virtual fleet arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale. This aims to bring spares and support closer to the point of use and make the C-17 more affordable to own and operate.
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