WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said Monday it hopes to begin negotiations soon on the sale of ten C-17 military transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force in a multi-billion dollar deal signifying deeper ties. The Pentagons Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress last Thursday of the possible sale of ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to the Indian Air Force, the US Embassy in New Delhi said on its website. The notification is a necessary prerequisite to negotiations on the deal, which could fetch up to 5.8 billion dollars, the embassy statement said. The actual cost will be based on Indian Air Force requirements and has yet to be negotiated, it added. Timothy Roemer, the US ambassador to India, played up the eventual sale of the C-17 planes that the statement said would help Indias armed forces increase and modernise their ability to move cargo. The potential sale of C-17s strengthens the growing partnership between our two countries, and demonstrates our enduring commitment to sharing the worlds best technology with India, he said in the embassy statement. This sale will offer economic benefits for both India and the United States and will likely include significant job creation in both countries, he added. India is a leading partner in our efforts to promote regional stability, peace and economic growth. In addition to buying the C-17s, the Indian Air Force could also decide on a deal in which US personnel train the air crew and maintenance personnel as well as provide training equipment, spare and repair parts. Under a deal, the Indians could also agree to buy test equipment, ground support equipment and technical assistance. The Indians could also negotiate engineering services and logistical and technical support. The C-17, which transports both troops and heavy equipment, has proven highly reliable in the harsh environments of Iraq and Afghanistan, the statement said. With a payload of 164,900 pounds, the C-17 can take off from a 7,000-foot airfield, fly 2,400 nautical miles, and land on a small, austere airfield in 3,000 feet or less, the statement said. The US Air Force, the British Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, Canadian Forces, NATO and Qatar all use the C-17s. The United Arab Emirates has also ordered C-17s.