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India, US begin talk on Boeing C-17 purchase


Advanced C-17. A Boeing photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): India and the United States have begun negotiations on the price and onboard equipment for the purchase of ten C-17 military transport aircraft.

According to India Strategic journal, the validation trials of the aircraft were complete and that one United States Air Force (USAF) C-17 which had recently flown to the country in this regard had met the Indian Air Force (IAF) specifications.

The US Department of Defence (DOD) has set the maximum price at USD 5.8 billion for the aircraft and various systems but the actual price would depend upon what equipment and onboard options the IAF finally selects, the report said.

The US Government will issue a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) after these discussions are finalized, indicating the equipment, services, life cycle support and their costs. There would be a 3.8 per cent administrative fee that the US Government now charges on all FMS deals, it said.

Boeing's Vice President for Global Mobility Systems Tommy Dunehew who was in the country recently said, the company has offered assured maintenance and supply of spares for the lifetime of the aircraft – about 40 years - and serviceability.

The C 17 Globemaster-III, which India is seeking, can carry a maximum payload of 74,797 kilograms for 2400 nautical miles without refueling and 45,495 kilograms for 4000 nautical miles without refueling.

The aircraft can also be refueled midair to extend range to carry equipment and humanitarian aid across international distances.

C-17 can operate from “a small, austere airfield in 3000 feet or less” with full payload. “The C 17 is equipped with an externally blown flap system that allows a steep, low-speed final approach and low-landing speeds for routine short-field landings,” a company statement said.

The aircraft is manufactured by Boeing at its Los Angeles facility.

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