The global aerospace giant Boeing integrated the forward, center and aft (rear) fuselages and the wing assembly of India's first C-17 Globemaster during the airlifter's "major join" ceremony here yesterday.
Officials from the Indian embassy in San Francisco and Indian Air Force drove ceremonial rivets into the aircraft, a key milestone in the programme.
India's Consul General in San Fransico N Parthasarathi called the ceremony as "practically riveting the Indo-US relations".
"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 defence items between our two countries," Parthasarthi said as he addressed members of US and Indian Airforce, Boeing company and a select number of people from both the countries yesterday.
Parthasarthi was accompanied by a team of senior IAF officials who had flown down from India especially for the yesterday's "major join" ceremony.
"With this ceremony, we expect the first C-17 to be in India by June next year," Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh told PTI on the sidelines of the event held inside the Long Beach manufacturing facility of the Boeing.