India Rade For 5.8-billion Dollar C-17 Globemaster Deal

The deal to buy 10 C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft from Boeing of the US is a step closer to being clinched. The finance ministry, after initial objections, has sanctioned the money for the acquisition.

According to sources, after this development, the only formality left is the approval by the Cabinet committee on security, which is expected soon. 

Following this, the deal will be inked to facilitate the foreign military sale (FMS) of the 10 strategic heavy airlift aircraft. FMS is a system of government-to-government sale of military equipment.

Chris Chadwick, president, Boeing Military Aircraft, dismissed rumours about India being upset with the $5.8-billion price tag. “There are no problems relating to the price of the C-17 Globemaster and there has been no indication from the government that it is going to put the $5.8-billion sale of 10 C-17 Globemaster- III transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force,” he told FE on a recent visit to Delhi. “There has been no direct request to us about the pricing (of the C-17s). I think what we offered is very fair and allows us to meet the requirement of airplane capability and life-cycle costs. I think we are pretty close to signing the contract.”

He said the price for the 10 C-17s was “fair and transparent” and noted that the company’s offset commitment plan had been already approved. He said the deal is expected to close by mid-2011.

The new freighter plane will be inducted in the IAF as its new very heavy lift transport aircraft (VHTAC). The IAF is acquiring the C-17 Globemasters as a replacement for its ageing fleet of AN-32 and Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft it procured from Russia in the 1980s.

After the contract for the 10 C-17s is signed, India may go in for six more of these aircraft, with the IAF keen on increasing its heavy-lift capability.
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