The Boeing Company on Tuesday delivered -- on schedule -- the first of 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters for the Indian Air Force (IAF). India's first C-17 will now enter a U.S. Air Force flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014.
"The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the Indian Air Force when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010," said Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, at the Embassy of India. "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 Jan. 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India."
"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," said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager.
India's Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government on June 15, 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the United States. The governments finalized the Foreign Military Sales contract for the airframe on June 6, 2012.
Boeing has delivered 250 C-17s worldwide, including 218 to the U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units. A total of 32 C-17s have been delivered to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.