Boeing Offers to Reduce C-17 Cost

By admin • June 4th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi — Due to the obsolescence of the current fleet of Russian-built IL-76 aircraft, India has decided that it will procure the C-17 Globemaster III by Boeing as its next military transport aircraft. This defence deal will be pursued through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS), wherein the deal will be between the US and Indian government.

Although the steep price tag of $5.8 billion for ten C-17 Globemaster III aircraft is being considered as a downside of the deal, Boeing is trying to convince India that the price will come down since the deal will be determined by the requirement of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Besides, India may not need many of the services and parts which the US may be offering in the military aircraft deal.

It may be noted that India has rejected the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation. Hence, it has been notified that India’s C-17s will not be fitted with secure communications (COMSEC) equipment Global Positioning System (GPS) security devices and other equipment. However, Boeing has confirmed that India was joining the Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership (GSP) for the maintenance of the C-17 and that the notification to the US Congress included that cost.

While the IL-76 transport aircraft with the Indian forces have been their workhorse for a long time, India opted for the costlier but more versatile aircraft like the C-17 for many reasons. Importantly, the C-17 can operate from short, mud-paved landing strips such as those on the border areas and can lift 75 tonne payloads to anywhere in China, Central Asia, the Gulf countries and much of Southeast Asia, without refuelling. The C-17 is capable of carrying 188 passengers or 102 fully-kitted paratroopers. The C-17 can also transport a battle-loaded ‘Arjun’ T-90 tank or a Chinook helicopter with its rotors dismantled.

In 2009, India had problems with the US in the C-130 J transport aircraft deal since many of the on-board systems were not being cleared for sale by the US government due to India’s rejection of the CISMOA and other agreements. It is assumed that the FMS route for the acquisition of the C-17 aircraft will not be hampered by similar issues this time again.

source: india defence online

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