New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian government has once again asked the US to extend the validity of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for the acquisition of a C-17 Globemaster heavy lift helicopter by 120 days i.e. till mid-February of next year.
Sources told Sputnik that the Indian defense ministry had submitted a request for an extension of the validity of the LOA by 120 days after the date of expiry i.e. October 17, but it was extended by only one month.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) currently has 10 C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft for its major operations to lift armed personnel and equipment. Interestingly, the IAF had planned to buy three C-17 from the US in April 2015.
India first signed a contract in 2012 to purchase 10 C-17 aircraft at a cost of $4.1 billion with an option for a follow-up offer to purchase six additional aircraft. India did not opt for the follow-up offer because Boeing did not fulfill the terms of the contract. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) — India's apex auditing body — had found massive under-utilization of the aircraft.