Boeing C-17 Globemaster III,Military Transport Aircraft,Indian Airforce Strength
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft.It was developed for the United State Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 commonly performs strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop duties.
Aside from the United States, the C-17 is in service with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, NATO Heavy Airlift Wing, India, and Kuwait.
Induction in Indian Airforce
In January 2010, India requested 10 C-17s through the U.S.’s Foreign Military Sales program.The sale was approved by Congress in June 2010. On 23 June 2010, the Indian Air Force successfully test-landed a USAF C-17 at the Gaggal Airport, India to complete the IAF’s C-17 trials.
In February 2011, the IAF and Boeing agreed terms for the order of 10 C-17s with an option for six more at the US$4.1 billion order was approved by the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security on 6 June 2011. Deliveries began in June 2013 and are to continue until 2014.
In 2012, the IAF reportedly finalized plans to buy six more C-17s in the 13th five-year plan (2017–2022).
The first C-17 was delivered in January 2013 for testing and training;it was officially accepted on 11 June 2013.The second C-17 was delivered on 23 July 2013 and put into service immediately.The third and fourth was entered in IAF on 2 September 2013.Then The fifth aircraft was received in November 2013 and the sixth aircraft was in July 2014.
Roles in Indian Airforce
The C-17s aircrafts are based at Hindon Air Force Station and are operated by the No.81 Squadron Skyloards.The aircraft provides strategic airlift and ability to deploy special forces,such as during national emergencies.The C-17s are also operated in diverse terrain from Himalayan air bases in North Indian at 13,000 ft (4000m) to Indian Ocean bases in south India.
The Skyloads Squadron regularly fly missions within India,Such as high-altitude bases at Leh and Thoise.IAF first used the C-17 to transport an infantry battalion’s equipment to Port Blair on Andaman Islands on 1 July 2013.
The C-17 is 174 feet (53 m) long and has a wingspan of about 170 feet (52 m).The aircraft has crew of 3 including 2 pilots and 1 loadmaster. Additionally it has capacity of carrying 102 paratroopers or,134 troops with palletized and sidewall seats or, 54 troops with sidewall seats (allows 13 cargo pallets) only or, 36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients and medical attendants or, Cargo, such as an M1 Abrams tank, three Strykers, or six M1117 Armoured Security Vehicles.
Engine and Performance
The C-17 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines rated at 40,400 lbf (180 kN) of thrust.The engine’s thrust reversers direct engine exhaust air upwards and forward,reducing the chances of entry of any foreign object or runway debris.
Maximum payload of the C-17 is 170,900 lb (77,500 kg), and its Maximum takeoff weight is 585,000 lb (265,350 kg).The fuel capacity of aircraft is 35,546 U.S. gal (134,556 Litres).It has cruise speed of Mach 0.74 (450 knots,830 km/h).The maximum operational range is 2430 nmi (4482 km) and 5610 nmi (10,390 km) with paratroopers .
The C-17 is designed to operate from runways as short as 3,500 ft (1,064 m) and as narrow as 90 ft (27 m). In addition, the C-17 can operate from unpaved, unimproved runways (although with greater chance of damage to the aircraft).The takeoff run of aircraft is 7600 ft (2316 m). The plane is designed for 20 man-hours of maintenance per flight hour, and a 74% mission availability rate.