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India to procure ten C-17 Globemaster III

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C-17 transport aircraft. A Boeing Photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Government Wednesday said it was planning to procure ten C-17 transport aircraft for strategic airlift requirements.

The Letter of Request (LoR) in this regard was issued to the US government on January 1 this year.

"The proposal to procure C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the US government for the Indian Air Force was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council on October 19, 2009 and the LoR was issued to the US government on January 1, 2010," Defence Minister A K Antony said in written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

In a bid to augment its fleet of transport aircraft and enhance its strategic airlift capabilities, the IAF is planning to procure the C-17s, which can carry a payload of around 80 tonnes.

The IAF currently operates a fleet of Russian-origin Ilyushin-76 and Antanov-32 transport aircraft.

In reply to another query, the Minister said a contract worth over USD 964 million has been signed with Russian MiG Corporation to upgrade IAF's MiG 29 fighter jets.

Antony said a contract for upgrading An-32 aircraft was also signed with Ukrainian company Spets Techno Export on June 15, 2009.

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