Monday, November 8, 2010
11:58 PM ASIAN DEFENCE No comments
The biggest Indo-US defence deal in the pipeline, the $4.1-billion for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft, could get even bigger. India may well order another six C-17s after the first 10. The impending final contract for 10 C-17s is in tune with India's aim to have swift power projection capabilities, with the region spanning from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait being seen as the country's ''primary area of geo-strategic interest''.
The gigantic C-17s, after all, are capable of carrying a payload of 164,900 pounds after taking off from a mere 7,000-feet airstrip. These four-engine aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, can transport tanks and combat-ready troops over 2,400 nautical miles. ''After we have evaluated the performance of the 10 C-17s, we will take a decision on whether to order another six,'' IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told TOI on Monday.