US resuming diplomatic ties with neighbouring Cuba after 1961 | Terrorists massacre 132 children and 9 teachers in Pakistan | About 200 more children are injured in perhaps the world's most horrific tragedy in recent times | Victims belonged to an army school in Peshwar | Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calls terrorists as savages | The world shares Pakistan's pain | All 7 terrorists killed | INS Arihant exits Vishakhapatnam harbour for sea trials, confirms defence minister | India's first nuclear-armed-nuclear-propelled submarine is out for milestone tests since Dec 14 | Indian Navy and Air Force aircraft gave cover for the safe movement of nearly submerged black submarine | Navy's Boeing P-8I and possibly Mig 29K combat jets patrolled the area around Vishakhapatnam | INS Arihant should be commissioned in about 15 months, says minister Manohar Parikkar | India, Russia sign will boost cooperation in defence, civil nuclear energy | Russia will set up 12 nuclear power units in India | China arrests former security chief Zhou Yongkang alleging corruption | Ashton B Carter appointed US Defense Secretary | Sikorsky Wins Indian Navy’s Multi Role Helicopter bid | Mr Anil Kumar Sinha appointed new CBI Director | An Egyptian Court dismisses all charges against former President Hosni Mubarak | Mr Mubarak was removed in 2011 after a public outcry of autocracy | Indonesia's Lion Air buys 40 ATR 72-600 for US$ 1 billion | Indian Air Force UAV crashes at Mankuva near Bhuj | Indian Prime Minister recalls horror of 26/11 (2008) terror attacks on Mumbai and urges global community to jointly combat terrorism | Pakistani terrorists had killed 166 and injured 308 persons in the devilish crime that day | Government clears Indian Army's long-pending artillery guns acquisition programme | Ministry of Defence approved the proposal for 814 guns of 155/52 caliber on Nov 22 | Army will now issue a fresh tender | Indian Army had last purchased its guns in 1986 from Swedish Bofors | Manohar Parikkar, new Defence Minister, cleared the proposal in his first meeting of Defence Acquistion Council | However, another proposal for lightweight BAE 777 guns, cleared in 2012, is pending over pricing | Parikkar also elected President of Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), India's leading think tank, on Nov 22 | Indian Army's Corps of Engineers marked 234th Anniversary Nov 18 | Indian Army's Corps of Engineers marked 234th Anniversary Nov 18 | Alitalia and Etihad Airways receive merger clearance from the European Commission | HAL conducts maiden flight of 3rd LCH technology demonstrator | Development of this high altitude helicopter likely by 2016 | India will shortly test an unmanned crew module in space towards developing manned missions capability: ISRO |
 

IAF Chooses C 17 Globemaster III

 
By Gulshan Luthra and Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd)Published : June 2009
 
 

New Delhi. 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 told India Strategic that the aircraft had been chosen after a thorough study of its capability to take off and land on short runways with heavy loads, longrange, and ease of operation.

IAF was looking at acquiring 10C 17S initially through the US Government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, and that 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.

At present India has less than 20 IL 76 Soviet-era aircraft for strategic lift, but they were acquired two decades ago. The requirement for today is for technologically better, easier to maintain and a larger number of aircraft due to the strategic scenario around India and the need to ferry troops, men and material even within India in times of contingency.

An IL 76 can carry a cargo of around 45 tonnes while a C 17 can carry 70 tonnes, and is much easier to operate with a small crew of two pilots and a loadmaster (total three) only despite its massive size, thanks to its various powered-asisted systems. Two observers though can also be seated.

An IL 76 has a crew of six plus gunner in the tail.

Despite its massive size - 174 ft length, 55 ft height and about 170 ft wingspan - a pilot can fly the aircraft with simple joystick, much like a fighter aircraft which can be life saving in a battlezone as the aircraft can take off quickly and at step angles. It is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F-11-7-PW-100 turbofan engines.

The C 17 is the mainstay of the US forces for worldwide deployment and can be refueled midair. It is in fact the lifeline of US and NATO troops deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Boeing has brought the aircraft several times to India for its literal catwalk on IAF tarmacs, including Aero India 2007 and 2009 in Bangalore. Indian Military Officials and journalists have been invited for the aircraft's fighter displays during the Paris Air Show beginning June 15.

According to 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 airfield 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 1990's. It can take off from 7,600 ft airfield, carry a payload of 16,000 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 aerial ambulance.

The cost of aircraft is not available but according to published reports, it was $ 237 million in 2007.

 
  © India Strategic 
   
   
 
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