Indian Air Force to Take Delivery of Its Final C-17 Globemaster III Strategic Airlifter

The Indian Air Force’s 11th and final Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter left US on its delivery flight and will be received by IAF in the coming days, Boeing announced.

This is also the 276th and final C-17 manufactured by Boeing. The aircraft was assembled at Boeing’s Long Beach, California plant and first flown on November 29, 2015.

In February 2011, India signed a S$4.1 billion contract to procure ten C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifters from Boeing with an option for six more. The ten aircraft currently form the backbone of IAF’s heavy airlift wing and are operated by No. 81 Squadron “Skylords” based at Hindon Air Force Station near New Delhi.

In April last year, Boeing was awarded a contract action, with a not-to-exceed value of $262 million, to supply one additional C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter to the IAF. The IAF’s original plan was to buy six more C-17s but this option was no longer available as the C-17 production ended in 2015 with only one aircraft available for sale.

Earlier his month, the U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of C-17 sustainment follow-on support to India for an estimated cost of $670 million.

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft developed for the U.S. Air Force (USAF) by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing).

The C-17 was designed to replace the USAF’s Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, and also fulfill some of the duties of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, freeing the C-5 fleet for outsize cargo. The aircraft commonly performs tactical and strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include medical evacuation and airdrop duties.

Aside from the United States and India, the C-17 is in service with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, NATO Heavy Airlift Wing, and Kuwait.

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