India’s decision to buy 10 large cargo aircraft from the US for $4-5 billion will sustain nearly 23,000 jobs in the US, the American ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said.
“This is indicative of the growing military and humanitarian ties between our two democracies. From joint training exercises to defense sales and ship visits, the United States
is committed to sharing expertise and cutting-edge technology with India, and to do so in a way that has economic benefits for both India and the United States,” he added in a statement.
Close on the heels of rejecting US’ fighter jets, Indian cabinet had yesterday approved the purchase of heavy airlifting jets — C -17, made by Boeing — by the Indian Air Force. The deal, discussed during Obama’s visit to India last year, was one of the main ‘wins’ of the Presidential visit to India. In all, over 600 suppliers located in 44 states in America
will benefit from the sale.
The US embassy also said that in addition to ten C-17s, India will acquire state-of-the-art aircrew and maintenance training, support and maintenance infrastructure, spares and repair parts, technical assistance and unique aircraft modifications specific to the country.
The C-17 is the workhorse of the U.S. Air Force transport fleet and is deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Indian Air Force will use the C-17s to modernize India’s armed forces with new cargo capabilities.
The C-17 can take off from a 7,000-foot airfield, fly 2,400 nautical miles, and land on a small airfield in 3,000 feet (0.9 km) or less. It’s ability to land on a small stretch of land was the crucial factor that decided things in its favor, the Indian Air Force had said last year when criticism rose about the high price.
British Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Canadian Forces, NATO, Qatar, and the UAE also use the plane, the embassy said.