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France confirms interest in C-17s

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posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 01:07 PM
France has confirmed interest in acquiring at least 3 C-17 transports as interim airlift until the A400M can be brought online. They haven't said whether they would purchase the aircraft or if it would be a lease type deal. It hasn't been confirmed that they have officially requested pricing but they have confirmed that they are interested in the aircraft.

They have said that there will be a capability gap until the A400 is completed, and they are pursuing several options, of which this is one. A letter was sent to the USAF on March 25th about the possible acquisition.

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.


The RAF has also expressed interest in expanding their fleet of C-17s. They currently have 6 aircraft and are looking at the possibility of either getting more C-17s or C-130Js.

[edit on 4/3/2009 by Zaphod58]

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