Long Beach: Boeing has delivered the 202nd C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter to the US Air Force (USAF). India is in talks to purchase 10 such aircraft.
The aircraft was taken from here to its new home at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington state on September 22. The base now has 55 of these strategic airlifters, reports India Strategic defence magazine (www.indiastrategic.in).
A company spokesman told India Strategic that of the 248 firm orders in hand, the company had so far delivered 221 aircraft and the last of the current backlog of 27 aircraft would be delivered in 2012.
Discussions for new orders are on with some countries, including India, which is currently negotiating for 10 aircraft but has also indicated an interest for an additional six.
The aircraft has had an exceptional safety record, and there has only been one accident, in Alaska July 28 this year during a training exercise, ever since the first C-17 was delivered to the USAF in 1993. Systems on board are periodically and progressively upgraded and the current version is designated C-17 Globemaster III, Block 18.
Boeing`s Long Beach facility here is producing 14 C-17s this year, 13 in 2011 and then 10 from 2012 to stagger production levels while awaiting new orders. The USAF requirement is for a total of 223 C17s and only 21 more aircraft are left for its inventory.
The last of these massive machines for the USAF is due for delivery in September 2012.