The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) first Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter (tail number CB-8001) has been delivered by Boeing, on schedule, for flight testing.
|Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III. CB-8001|
The first of the 10 airlifters ordered, now enters a U.S. Air Force (USAF) flight test program at the famous “The Right Stuff” Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California, USA. This particular aircraft completed the ‘major join’ of its fuselage about six months ago.
These C-17’s were ordered by the Indian government under the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. In effect it is the US government that is selling these planes to India, hence Boeing’s delivery to the USAF. India’s Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government on June 15, 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest foreign C-17 customer. The governments finalised the Foreign Military Sales contract for the airframe on June 6, 2012.
Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attaché at the Embassy of India said
“The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the Indian Air Force when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010,” “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 Jan. 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India.”
After completing its flight trials and IAF acceptance trials, the first C-17 will arrive in India in the late summer of this year.
Boeing confirms, it is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014. Boeing will support the IAF C-17 fleet through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract.
A Boeing spokesperson confirmed that a USAF C-17 would come for the AeroIndia 2013 show, but not the IAF aircraft.