The Indian Air Force wants the C-17A to replace its fleet of Russian-built Il-76 Candids.
January 8: Boeing has confirmed that the Indian government has sent a formal letter of request to the US about acquiring ten C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft.
The IAF wants to replace its ageing fleet of Russian-built Il-76 Candids, says Indian newspaper The Financial Express.
In November the Indian Ministry of Defence approved the purchase of the ten aircraft at a potential cost of $2 billion. Indian defence sources are quoted as saying that “The C-17 has been short listed after IAF carried out a thorough study on its capability to take-off and land on short runways with heavy loads.” A formal request to the US Government is expected to be made shortly.
The news will be welcome for Boeing, which was faced with closing the C-17A production line in 2011 with the US Department of Defense capping its buy at 202 aircraft in the recent Defense Authorisation Act signed by the President. If the Indian order is agreed, it would keep the production line open for another year enabling further export orders to be chased by the company. India may want to increase its order from ten aircraft, according to the Indian The Financial Express. The IAF currently operates 17 Il-76MD ‘Gajraj’ transports, as it is known in India.