The plane which departed for India on August 20 from Boeing's Long Beach, California, facility joins the first and second India C-17 airlifters, which arrived in June and July, respectively.

Boeing is on track to deliver two more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014. Once India receives its full complement of ten aircraft, it will be the largest C-17 operator outside the US.

In operation since 1991, the C-17 has been used in humanitarian and military missions around the world and recently surpassed 2.6 million flight hours. It can carry a cargo of wheeled US Army vehicles in two side-by-side rows, including the US Army's main battle tank, the M-1.

Three Bradley infantry-fighting vehicles comprise one load. It can drop a single 60,000-lb. payload, with sequential load drops of 110,000 lb. The transporter can seat 54 on the sidewall and 48 in the centreline. It can even back up a two-percent slope, the company said.

Boeing has delivered 256 C-17s, including 222 to the US Air Force and a total of 34 to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace.


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