A deal is one step away from being closed to purchase a total of 10 C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft units from Boeing of the US. After earlier protestation, the money spent for the acquisition has been approved by the finance ministry.
Sources revealed that the only formal thing left to be done is the Cabinet committee’s approval, which is expected to follow soon. After this, the deal for the 10 strategic heavy airlift aircraft units will be forwarded to the FMS (Foreign Military Sale). The FMS is a government-to-government system that revolves around military equipment.
The price of the C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft units have been the cause for a lot of rumors concerning the government. The president of Boeing Military Aircraft, Chris Chadwick, dismissed these rumors however, saying that there are no problems with the price related to the C-17 Globemasters, and there’s has been no indication whatsoever from the government that the $5.8-billion sale of 10 of those units are going to be put to the Indian Air Force. He told this to the FE on a recent visit to Delhi, also saying that he thinks that their offer is very fair, and is also mandatorily needed to meet certain requirements concerning the airplane’s capabilities and life-cycle costs. “We are pretty close to signing the contract”, he also said.
Further statements from Chadwick read that he thinks the price for the 10 C-17’s was “transparent, but mostly fair”, and he noted that the offset commitment plan of the company has already been approved. The deal is bound to be closed by mid-2011.
The IAF will be inducing these new heavy aircraft units as its new VHTAC (Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft). They will be acquired as a replacement for their older and ageing fleet of AN-32 and Ilyushin II-76 aircraft that it has procured from Russia during the 1980s.
The IAF is looking into more deals for heavy-lift aircraft units, saying that they’ll go in for 6 more of the C-17 Globemasters when the contract for the previous 10 is signed.
This deal has a potential opportunity to create up to 30.000 jobs in the United States. This was stated by the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, last year at the 27th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture at San Diego State University in California.