Washington, June 7 (IANS) The US-India Business Council (USIBC), a business advocacy group representing some 400 top US companies, has hailed India's decision to purchase 10 Boeing C-17 aircraft, valued at more than $4.1 billion.
"This is testament to India's appreciation of US technology and confidence in the United States as a long-term defence sales partner," said USIBC President Ron Somers noting that the purchase would make the Indian Air Force the owner and operator of the largest fleet of C-17s outside of the US.
"This largest-ever Indian purchase of US defence technology we hope will be just the beginning of much more to come," he said.
"US defense sales to India began only a decade ago, at a value of less than $200 million for radar equipment. We have come a long way since then," Somers said noting "US-India defense sales today have now crossed the $9 billion mark and continue to grow."
"US industry wishes to provide India with a host of cutting-edge products and solutions to meet its emerging defence, security, and counterterrorism needs," he said.
"Overall, we see the United States and India, the world's largest free-market democracies, forging a deep and lasting strategic partnership, shaping the destiny of the 21st Century," Somers said.
Boeing C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases, and forward-operating bases, throughout the world. It can also perform tactical airlifts, medical evacuation, and airdrop missions. The C-17 can transport large payloads and land on short, rough runways.
According to Boeing each plane supports 650 suppliers across 44 states in the US, and that this order will support Boeing's C-17 production facility in Long Beach, California for an entire year.