India will field 11 C-17s by the time that the final aircraft is delivered in August 2019. Source: Boeing

Boeing has been contracted to deliver its final C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter to India.

A USD 262 million award for the delivery of the last C-17 to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to roll off the now-closed production line at Long Beach, California, was announced on 30 March. The aircraft, which was built as a ‘white-tail’ (with no customer yet signed up), will join the 10 C-17s already fielded by the IAF by 22 August 2019.

This contract follows US State Department approval of the sale, which the Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA) had originally put at USD336.2 million. The additional funds will cover further ancillary equipment as well as sustainment and support.

As with all the other operators of the C-17, the IAF’s fleet is supported by Boeing via its Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) performance-based logistics contract. This ‘virtual fleet’ enables international customers to tap into the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) vast support infrastructure. It is likely that a large percentage of the value of this proposed Indian sale is related to the aircraft’s through-life sustainment and support through the GISP program.