US approves follow-on support for India’s C-17 aircraft

30 July 2019 (Last Updated July 30th, 2019 11:06)

The US State Department has cleared a possible sale of equipment and services in support of India’s C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft programme.

US approves follow-on support for India’s C-17 aircraft
The first C-17 heavy-lift aircraft built for the Indian Air Force. Credit: USAF / Jet Fabara.

The US State Department has cleared a possible sale of equipment and services in support of India’s C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft programme.

The C-17 aircraft sustainment follow-on support will include equipment worth of $670m and will be implemented under the foreign military sale route.

Subject to approval from Congress, India will receive spares and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation.

The sale package will also include support and test equipment, as well as engineering, technical and logistical support services.

In a statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the mobility capabilities of a major defensive partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.”

The agency further stated that follow-on support will enable India to maintain its operational readiness.

The purchase will also enhance the Asian country’s ability to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) assistance in the region.

Boeing will act as the primary contractor for the follow-on support package.

DSCA added that the US Government will assign 23 contractor representatives to India for the implementation of the deal.

In 2011, the Indian Ministry of Defence signed a contract to purchase ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifters.

The high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed aircraft can carry large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid to support military or humanitarian missions.

The C-17 is designed to take off from a 7,000ft airfield and land on an austere airfield of 3,000ft or less.

In July 2016, Boeing opened a facility in India to provide C-17 training services to the Indian Air Force.

Other users include the US, Australia, Canada, Qatar, the UAE, and the UK.