Indian Air Force on Monday officially inducted the 80 tonne C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft into its services to boost its strategic airlift capabilities.
Indian Defense minister AK Antony inducted the aircraft into Air force at Hindon airbase located on the outskirts of capital New Delhi.
"The plane's induction is a giant stride for the force and it will perform tactical and non-traditional operations," the minister told media.
Commander of the Indian Air force, NAK Browne who was also present on the occasion told media that "the plane will be operated from the advanced landing grounds in the northeastern states as well as from high altitude bases in north and Andaman and Nicobar Islands".
The induction of plane will help Indian air force to quickly move troops, tanks, and helicopters to the battle fronts, government sources said.
The aircraft has been procured from the US under a deal, the media reported as quoting air force officials.
The IAF has placed orders with the US for ten such aircraft under the deal signed in 2011, the reports add.
The American C-17, with a capability to carry around 80 tonnes of load and around 150 fully geared troops, will replace the Russian Il-76 as the biggest aircraft in the IAF inventory till now. The Il-76 had the capability to carry loads up to around 40 tonnes, the media reported.