India failed to send a formal Letter of Acceptance to buy the last available Boeing C-17 in October
New Delhi asked for an extension till November at that time and now it seems there will be another request to extend the deadline to next year.
The latest request could derail the procurement process and make the aircraft available to other interested parties.
In 2011, India had bought 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters at a cost of $4.7 billion. The deal also featured a follow clause to procure six more aircraft. But due to the budget cuts the Indian Air Force (IAF) could procure only further three of them.
In 2015 the IAF made a proposal to buy the three additional C-17s to add to ist Globemaster fleet. But because of IAF long procurement process and the shutting down of the C-17 production line, only one aircraft was left to procure.
The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base (AFB), now known as Joint Base Charleston, S.C., on June 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready Jan. 17, 1995.
The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the U.S.
Photo credit: Jet Fabara / U.S. Air Force
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