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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

First Boeing C-17s for IAF to touch down in India by mid-2013

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Aug 2, IRNA -- The first of India's 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift military aircraft that would add strategic depth to the IAF will arrive in India next year well on time.

A high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed aircraft with a rear-loading ramp, the C-17s are expected to help modernize and replace India's aging fleet of Russian-built cargo planes.

The eagerly awaited aircraft got its shape as the global aerospace giant integrated the forward, center and aft (rear) fuselages and the wing assembly.

Last year, India became Boeing's largest international customer when it approved a USD 4.1 billion deal to purchase 10 C-17s, which are to be delivered in 2013 and 2014. The IAF is expected to base its C-17 fleet at Hindon, PTI news agency reported. The aircraft is powered by four-engines, has a rear-loading ramp and can take a payload as much as 164,900 pounds and boasts of a take-off from a 7,000-foot airfield and land on a small unprepared airfield of 3,000 feet or less.

The aircraft, used by 18 other countries like Australia, Canada and Great Britain can fly 2,400 nautical miles and can be refueled mid-air. It is said to be a workhorse for aeromedical 'care in air' sorties and evacuation and can fly long-haul missions.

The manufacturing of this aircraft, which will roll out with Indian colours on its T-tail and the cockpit had begun in January this year. The nine others are expected to fly into the country in specified timelines by the end of 2014.

The Indian plane, heavily plugged with wires and mechanics, stood aloft on its landing gear in its raw paint yellow colour, sporting the Indian flag on the cockpit.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80258708

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