India to buy heavy lift transport jet from US

A formal letter of request to buy the heavy lift transport aircraft, was issued to the US government on January 1, Defence Minister A K Antony said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

 The aircraft that can carry 75 tonnes of load will be purchased through the foreign military sales (FMS) route.

New Delhi is increasingly preferring the FMS route rather than going through the tendering process because even if the FMS route is 2 per cent costlier, there is no other hassles in the acquisition process, which in turn contribute to speedy modernisation of the armed forces.

The onus to provide a quality product and steady maintenance support is on the government where the selling company is located. In this case, it  is the US responsibility for the C-17 is a Boeing product, .

The deal was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council on October 19. Incidentally, on the same day, a C-17 from the US Air Force participated in an air exercise with the IAF in Agra to improve the level of inter-operability in transport flying.

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