The Indian Air Force (IAF) will begin trials of a Globemaster III aircraft on 21 June 2010, before signing a contract with the US to acquire such an aircraft.

Boeing will fly a Globemaster, leased from the US Air Force, to India for the trial, according to the Hindu.

The trials will be part of the proposed $5.8bn deal to supply ten Globemaster IIIs to the IAF by the US.

In April 2010, the US Department of Defense notified Congress of a letter of request from the Indian Government to acquire such tactical heavy lift transport aircraft.

Boeing will offer the latest block 18 aircraft, which can carry 73,616kg of payload and be operated by only three crew, to the IAF as part of the deal.

It can carry 188 passengers and is equipped with reverse thrust engines and missile warning system with flares to disengage incoming missiles.

The IAF plans to base these tactical aircraft at Agra in northern India following delivery, which is expected to begin 24 months after the contract is signed.