PICTURE: India's first C-17 enters flight testing

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India's first C-17 strategic transport has been delivered for flight testing at Edwards AFB in California, while Boeing says it remains on track to complete deliveries next year under the 10-aircraft acquisition.

Carrying the Indian air force registration CB-8001, the airlifter left the manufacturer's Long Beach final assembly site on 22 January. It had made its flight debut on 11 January, Boeing says.

 

Boeing

New Delhi finalised its almost $1.8 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal for 10 C-17s in June 2012, with the purchase to give its air force the second largest fleet of the type in the world, behind the US Air Force's current 218 examples. The UK currently holds this status, with its Royal Air Force operating eight of the type.

"Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the Indian air force this year and five in 2014," the company says.

India's air force has also recently inducted six Lockheed Martin C-130Js acquired using the US government's FMS funding mechanism. The Hercules tactical transports are operated from the service's Hindon air base.