Boeing on Jan. 22 delivered — on schedule — the first of 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters for the Indian Air Force (IAF). India’s first C-17 will now enter a U.S. Air Force flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, Calif. Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014.

“The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the Indian Air Force when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010,” said Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attach√© at the Embassy of India. “It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with Indian Air Force markings, as the airlifter completed its first-flight milestone on Jan. 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India.”

“The C-17’s ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates; transport large payloads across vast ranges; and land on short, austere runways makes it ideal for India’s airlift needs,” said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager. “We value our continued partnership with India and the U.S. government and will provide dedicated support as India’s first C-17 enters flight testing.”

India’s Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government on June 15, 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the United States. The governments finalized the Foreign Military Sales contract for the airframe on June 6, 2012.

Boeing has delivered 250 C-17s worldwide, including 218 to the U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units. A total of 32 C-17s have been delivered to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.

Boeing will support the IAF C-17 fleet through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract. The GISP “virtual fleet” arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale. This brings spares and support closer to the point of use and makes the C-17 more affordable to own and operate.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 60,000 employees worldwide.

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