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Obama welcomes agreement on purchase of C-17 cargo planes


Advanced Fuel Efficient Tactical C-17. A Boeing photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): US President Barack Obama Monday welcomed India's "preliminary agreement" to purchase 10 C-17 Globemaster heavy lift cargo planes for its air force saying it will benefit both the countries.

"Today I am pleased to welcome India's preliminary agreement to purchase 10 C-17 cargo planes, which will enhance Indian capabilities and support 22,000 jobs back in the US," he said while addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

The aircraft is manufactured by American defence major Boeing at its facility in Long Beach, California.

On a lookout for a strategic heavy lift transport aircraft, the IAF had shortlisted the C-17, which can carry loads of over 75-80 tonnes and take-off from short runways.

India is planning to purchase the aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, under which the contract is finalised between the two governments.

India had sought to purchase the aircraft and the US Government had sent the proposal to its Congress, which cleared it in June this year.

India is set to acquire USD five billion worth US defence equipment including C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift transport aircraft, over 150 ultra-light howitzers and Harpoon missiles.

India has till now purchased C-130J Hercules and P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft and an old Landing Platform Deck (LPD) INS Jalashwa (erstwhile USS Trenton) from the US.

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