Author Topic: Indian Air Force aiming to buy at least 10 C17 Globemaster IIIs  (Read 952 times)

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Offline S.M.A.

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A rather long article covering many aircraft, here are the C-17 highlights:

IAF chooses Boeing's latest C-17 for heavy-lift transport aircraft
June 14th, 2009 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS

By Gulshan Luthra
New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) has shortlisted the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III as its new Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft (VHTAC). Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik is quoted by the India Strategic defence magazine as saying that the aircraft had been chosen after a thorough study because of its capability to take off and land on short runways with heavy loads, long range, and ease of operation.
IAF was looking at acquiring ten C-17s initially through the US government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, and a proposal in this regard was being considered by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), he said adding that the aircraft should come in about three years after a contract is signed.


Notably, except for the Su30-MKI, all the combat and transport aircraft of the IAF were acquired in the 1980s, and IAF needs new, and newer generation, aircraft to replace and augment that capacity.
India has about 100-plus medium An-32 and less than 20 heavy lift IL-76 aircraft. It is difficult to get their spares as the Soviet Union where they were made has disintegrated into Russia and other states. IAF has acquired old, refurbished IL-76 platforms for its AWACS and Midair Refueler requirements.
An agreement was being signed with Ukraine to upgrade and modernize the An-32s, the Air Chief said.
An IL-76 can carry a cargo of around 45 tonnes and has a crew of six while a C-17 can carry 70 tonnes, and is much easier to operate with a small crew of two pilots and one loadmaster (total three), thanks to its various power-assisted systems. Two observers though can also be seated.
Despite its massive size - 174 ft length, 55 ft height and about 170 ft wingspan - a pilot can fly the C-17 with a simple joystick, much like a fighter aircraft, which can be lifesaving in a battlezone as the aircraft can take off quickly and at steep angles. It is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F-117-PW-100 turbofan engines.
As for the C-17, Boeing has brought the aircraft several times to India for its literal catwalk on IAF tarmacs, including at the Aero India 2007 and 2009 in Bangalore. Indian military officials and journalists have been invited for the aircraft's flight displays during the Paris Air Show.
The C-17 is the mainstay of the US forces for worldwide deployment, and can be refuelled midair. It is in fact the lifeline of US and NATO troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the Boeing company, the high-wing, 4-engine, multi-service T-tailed military-transport C-17 can carry large equipment including tanks, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world day or night.
The massive, sturdy, long-haul aircraft tackles distance, destination and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s. It can take off from a 7,600-ft airfield, carry a payload of 160,000 pounds, fly 2,400 nautical miles, refuel while in flight for longer range, and land in 3,000 ft or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield day or night.
The aircraft can also be used as an aerial ambulance.
(Gulshan Luthra is a defence analyst. He can be reached at
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