India has no current plans for additional C-17s

Singapore
Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
Subscribe today »

India's defence minister has scotched rumours that the country has immediate plans to buy more than 10 Boeing C-17 strategic transports.

"There is presently no proposal for procurement of additional C-17s for the Indian air force," said defence minister A K Antony, in a brief written response to a question in parliament.

Rumours on Indian websites had pointed towards New Delhi ordering an additional six C-17s, with a further purchase beyond this.

On 6 July, India's cabinet confirmed that the nation would buy 10 C-17s for $4.1 billion, the largest ever India-US arms deal.

indian air force c-17, billypix
 © BillyPix
Boeing C-17 at the 2011 Aero India show in Bangaluru

 

The deal was long awaited, as India had first expressed interest in the aircraft in 2009, followed by a formal letter of request in early 2010.

The sale of additional C-17s to India would be a major boost for Boeing, which has just 28 C-17s on its order backlog, stretching to mid-2014.

Boeing said that India's C-17s are due to be delivered in the 2013-14 timeframe, but has provided no further details.

The future of C-17 production depends on whether Boeing can scrape together at least 30 additional aircraft orders within the next five years. At that point, the US Air Force may consider alternatives to inducting about 30 more Lockheed C-5As into a reliability enhancement and re-engining programme.