The US Congress has cleared the sale of C-17 Globemaster III strategic aircraft for India, ahead of the crucial Cabinet-level Strategic Dialogue between the two countries. The Obama Administration had in April notified the US Congress of the potential sale of 10 C-17 aircraft to India and sought approval in this regard.
"We are pleased that India's intent to buy 10 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft has received US congressional approval," Dr Vivek Lall, vice president and country head, Boeing Defence, Space and Security, India, told PTI in New Delhi. With this, the Indian government is one step closer to acquiring the C-17 which we believe is ideally suited to meet India's airlift needs for military and humanitarian purposes,he said.
"The submission of the Letter of Acceptance to the government of India will be the next step towards finalizing the foreign military sale," Lall said. "The aircraft are being sold to India under the US Government's Foreign Military Sales programme, with the maximum package value of US $ 5.8 billion. That includes the 3. 8 per cent administrative fee that the government charges to ensure timely delivery and guarantee the supplies," reported India Strategic in its latest issue.
A senior Obama Administration official William Burns had yesterday defended arms sale to India by arguing that this commensurate with New Delhi's expanding role as well as America's own interest.