India-US begin price negotiations on Boeing C-17 airlifter


NEW DELHI: India and the United States have begun talks here on the
price and onboard equipment for the 10 Boeing C- 17 military transport
aircraft that the Indian Air Force (IAF) wants.

According to reliable sources quoted by India Strategic defence
magazine, the validation trials of the aircraft were complete and that
one United States Air Force (USAF) C-17 which had come to India in this
regard last month had met the IAF specifications. The aircraft was
tested in short and high altitude runways.

As India is buying the aircraft from the US government under its
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, the US Department of Defense
(DOD) and USAF are leading the discussions from the supplier side and
the Indian Ministry of Defence and the IAF are negotiating from the
buyer side.

DOD has set the maximum price at $5.8 billion for the aircraft and
various systems but the actual price would depend upon what equipment
and onboard options the IAF finally selects.

The US government will issue a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) after these
discussions are finalized, indicating the equipment, services, and
lifecycle support and their costs. There would be a 3.8 per cent
administrative fee that the US government now charges on all FMS deals.
(This fee varies periodically between 2.5 to 5 per cent).

India Strategic quoted Boeing’s Vice President for Global Mobility
Systems Tommy Dunehew, who was here recently, as saying that Boeing has
offered assured maintenance and supply of spares for the lifetime of
the aircraft – say 40 years – and serviceability.

The aircraft is manufactured by Boeing at its Los Angeles facility.

According to an official Boeing statement, the latest large T-tailed
C-17 Globemaster-III, which India is seeking, can carry a maximum
payload of 74,797 kilograms for 2,400 nautical miles without refueling
and 45,495 kilograms for 4,000 nautical miles without refueling.

The aircraft can also be refueled midair to extend its range to carry
equipment and humanitarian aid across international distances.

The statement said that the C-17 can operate from “a small, austere
airfield in 3,000 feet or less” with full payload. “The C-17 is
equipped with an externally blown flap system that allows a steep,
low-speed final approach and low-landing speeds for routine short-field

Boeing has delivered 199 C-17s to the USAF. There are 19 C-17 aircraft with other international customers.

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