Boeing was to establish a High Altitude Engine Test Facility as well as a Trisonic Wind Tunnel Facility at India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as part of its offset obligation for the ten C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift aircraft that were ordered by the Indian Air Force for USD 4.116 billion way back in 2011.

DRDO was one of the major IOP and was to discharge 47 percent of the offsets with two major projects. The projects were High Altitude Engine Test Facility (HAETF) for $315 million and Transonic Wind Tunnel (TWT) worth $195 million. Boeing claimed that delays been mainly on account of export restrictions by the US Government and DRDO claimed that Boeing had not indicated how long it would take for export license approval from their (USA) government due to which even after 10 years of the C-17 deal, Boeing failed to meet offset obligations which now DRDO has canceled.

While DRDO said that the HAETF project is still under discussion but US government is yet to grant an export license. Boeing knew that technologies required export license from US Government at the time of submission of the offset proposal and kept DRDO and the Indian government in the dark.

DRDO now has decided to build both HAETF and TWT facilities using local expertise from private sector companies and has canceled Boeing’s proposals. Recently DRDO confirmed that land for establishing HAETF near a reservoir has been identified that will be capable of the testing engine with 130kN class of thrust to simulate an engine that will work at 59000 feet above the ground up to Mach 2 speeds.

DRDO says that the facility will be ready in 3-4 years after the contract is signed with an international development partner and plans are to also procure 60-70 acres of more land for establishing an altitude test facility at an estimated cost of 4000 crores.

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