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France is believed to have officially requested pricing and availability data on Boeing's C-17 strategic transport to bridge a capability gap caused by development delays to the Airbus Military A400M.
Defence ministry officials wrote to the US Air Force on 25 March enquiring about a possible future acquisition of three C-17s, says an industry source. It is unclear whether Paris could be interested in options on an interim lease agreement or a direct purchase.
"There is an operational gap for military transport and the French defence ministry is looking forward and studying all the transitional solutions," says a statement released to Flight International by the nation's DGA procurement agency on 2 April. "The C-17 is one of them, but there are several other options and nothing is decided at the moment." It declines to confirm whether formal requests have been submitted for the C-17 (below) or other types.