U.S. to extend C-17 offer to India
The U.S. government is to extend the validity of it’s offer of the proposed sale of the last white-tail Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to India.
The U.S. had issued the offer via a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA), the validity of which expires today. The sale had been notified by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) to the U.S. Congress in June this year.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) operates 10 C-17 aircraft, which were acquired in an order worth USD 4.1 billion that was placed in 2011 and included an option for an additional six aircraft.
In spite of IAF intentions to exercise the option before the imminent closure of the production line in 2015, no order was placed. Again, no order was placed even after the closure of the line, when only some ten white-tail aircraft remained unsold.
There was also a tough contest for this last C-17, with Australia and Qatar vying for the order. The U.S. government agreed to the sale to India only after the application of considerable political pressure.
It is understood that the validity of the LOA will be extended by a short period to early next year. The order is expected to be worth around USD 350 million.
By Saurabh Joshi