India’s first C-17 will now enter a U.S. Air Force flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California. Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014.
“The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the Indian Air Force when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010,” said Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attaché at the Embassy of India.
“It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with Indian Air Force markings, as the airlifter completed its first-flight milestone on the 11th January. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India.”
“The C-17’s ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates; transport large payloads across vast ranges; and land on short, austere runways makes it ideal for India’s airlift needs,” said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager.
“We value our continued partnership with India and the U.S. government and will provide dedicated support as India’s first C-17 enters flight testing.”
India’s Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government on 15th June 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the United States. The governments finalized the Foreign Military Sales contract for the airframe on 6th June 2012.
Boeing has delivered 250 C-17 aircraft worldwide, including 218 to the U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units. A total of 32 C-17 aircraft have been delivered to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.
Boeing will support the IAF C-17 fleet through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract. The GISP “virtual fleet” arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale. This brings spares and support closer to the point of use and makes the C-17 more affordable to own and operate.