01 August 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif., July 31, 2012 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] today in Long Beach integrated the forward, center and aft fuselages and the wing assembly of India's first C-17 Globemaster III during the airlifter's "major join" ceremony.

Embassy, senior Indian Air Force and local elected officials drove ceremonial rivets into the aircraft as they celebrated the achievement of this key program milestone.

India's Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government on June 15, 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the U.S. Those governments finalized the Foreign Military Sales contract for the airframe alone on June 6.

 "The defense relationship between India and the United States is an important dimension of our strategic partnership," said Ambassador N. Parthasarathi, Consul General of India, San Francisco. "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 defense items between our two countries."

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