The Indian defence ministry has asked the U.S. Government for a third extension of the validity of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for the purchase of the last C-17 Globemaster III heavy lift aircraft. This request was made less than a week before the expiry of the LOA. The defence ministry’s Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) has already approved the purchase.
The letter expired on Monday.
As reported by StratPost, the defence ministry had requested and received an extension of the offer in mid-October, and again, in mid-November.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) runs a fleet of ten C-17 aircraft, purchased in a USD 4.1 billion order in 2011. The terms of the sale included an option for six additional aircraft.
However, no order was forthcoming despite IAF plans acquire more of the aircraft before the shutdown of the production line in 2015. The Ministry of Defence failed to place an order even after the production line was closed, leaving only ten unsold C-17 aircraft.
The proposed USD 350 million-sale of the last remaining C-17 has been eagerly eyed by operators from other countries, as well.
The U.S. Government is expected to extend the validity of the LOA by a month – the last expected such extension.