Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving the World

Boeing announced Wednesday the Indian defense ministry signed the foreign military sales agreement with the US government to acquire 10 C-17 transports by 2014. The Foreign Military Sale -- approved by the U.S. Congress in May 2010 -- establishes India as the C-17's largest international customer.

This "transaction reaffirms our close relationship of several decades with India and also highlights our commitment to the strategic partnership between the two countries," stated Dinesh Keskar, president of Boeing's India operations. Under the agreed framework, Boeing will deliver all 10 aircraft between 2013 and 2014.

The Economic Times, an Indian publication, reported that the IAF might seek to acquire up to eight additional C-17s at a later point.

Congress approved the sale last May; the Indian government signed off on it earlier this month. Indian interest in the C-17 was reaffirmed last June during an operational trial of the aircraft in India, proving it met IAF needs for military and humanitarian airlift.

Boeing has delivered 232 C-17s worldwide, including 22 with international customers. The U.S. Air Force -- including active National Guard and Reserve units -- has taken delivery of 210 C-17s. Other customers include the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, the Qatar Emiri Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations, and the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence.

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