The Indian air force has formally inducted the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport.
To mark the occasion, a ceremony took place at air force station Hindan, the home base for the air force's C-17s. Flown by the newly-raised 81 Sqn 'Skylords', the type will greatly enhance India's airlift capabilities.
Present at the ceremony were Indian defence minister AK Antony, air force head Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and US ambassador to India Nancy Powell, as well as other senior officials from India's defence ministry and air force, and US Air Force representatives.
Indian defence ministry
The Indian air force received its first three C-17s in the months of June, July and August respectively this year. It will induct two more into service before the end of this year, with the remaining five to be delivered in 2014.
The USAF has already completed the training of 20 pilots and 10 loadmasters for the Indian air force.