US-made India's 1st C-17 aircraft gets shape; to arrive in 2013
The first of India's ten ordered Boeing heavy-lift military transport aircraft has got its shape at an exclusive "major join" ceremony here attended by the top Indian diplomat of the region and IAF officials.
The global aerospace giant Boeing integrated the forward, center and aft (rear) fuselages and the wing assembly of India's first C-17 Globemaster during the airlifter's "major join" ceremony here yesterday.
Officials from the Indian embassy in San Francisco and Indian Air Force drove ceremonial rivets into the aircraft, a key milestone in the programme.
India's Consul General in San Fransico N Parthasarathi called the ceremony as "practically riveting the Indo-US relations".
"This momentous occasion, where we see India's first C-17 take shape, further strengthens our growing relationship.
As India strives to become a global reservoir of highly skilled and technologically sophisticated manpower, we will witness an escalating technology transfer, collaborative joint research and development, and co-production of defence items between our two countries," Parthasarthi said as he addressed members of US and Indian Air Force, Boeing company and a select number of people from both the countries yesterday.
Parthasarthi was accompanied by a team of senior IAF officials who had flown down from India especially for the yesterday's "major join" ceremony.
"With this ceremony, we expect the first C-17 to be in India by June next year," Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh said on the sidelines of the event held inside the Long Beach manufacturing facility of the Boeing.
Parthasarathi also said that India has ordered purchase of US equipment to the tune of USD nine billion and there was "much more to come".