July 29 (UPI) — The State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale of sustainment equipment for C-17 military transport planes sold to India for humanitarian, and potentially defensive, purposes.
The contract approved Friday includes equipment, spare parts, personnel training, U.S. government and contractor engineering, and technical and logistical support at a cost of $670 million. The aircraft have been sold to India over the last several years.
The Indian government has said that it needs the planes and follow-on support to maintain operational readiness and to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief assistance in the region.
The Indian armed forces currently has 10 C-17s in its fleet as part of a program that started in 2011. The capacious planes are often used in India’s frequent weather-related disasters, and the Indian air force has urged its government to purchase additional planes.
The Indian C-17s were used to aid victims of a massive earthquake in neighboring Nepal in 2015.