Indian Government Approves C-17 Buy

India on Monday decided to go forth with the purchase of 10 new-build Boeing C-17 transports from the United States under a foreign military sale. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet committee on security approved the deal, which has an estimated value of $4.1 billion, to acquire the airlifters for the Indian air force, reports The Hindu. Delivery of the airplanes would begin 24 months after signing of the contract, according to the newspaper. The next formal step is for the two governments to sign the letter of acceptance for the sale, which might happen by week’s end, reports the Los Angeles Times. In April 2010, the Pentagon informed Congress of the possible sale. The C-17s are expected to replace the IAF’s lyushin Il-76 transports. Earlier this year, the IAF inducted its first Lockheed Martin C-130J transport. (See also Reuters report.)