At the end of drawn-out negotiations, India signed off on the purchase of the last available ‘white tail’ Boeing C-17A Globemaster III on March 30. Boeing was awarded a $262 million not-to-exceed, foreign military sales contract by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to provide delivery of the aircraft to the Indian Air Force.
The aircraft rolled off Boeing’s Long Beach production line in 2014 as part of a batch of ten built by Boeing on spec without orders for them. The other nine aircraft were sold to Australia, which took two, Canada one, the United Arab Emirates two and Qatar four. India’s new jet, N272ZD (c/n 50273/F-272) was allotted the US Air Force serial number 14-0003 and has been in storage since it was built. After modifications have been performed at Boeing’s San Antonio facility, it must be ready for delivery to India by August 22, 2019.
The Indian Air Force operates its fleet of ten C-17As, serials CB-8001 to CB-8010, with 81 Squadron ‘Skyloards’ from Hindon Air Force Station, Ghaziabad. The new jet is expected to be assigned the serial number CB-8011.