By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: The C-17 Globemaster-III heavy-lift transport aircraft from aerospace giant Boeing, is expected to be a show-stopper at this year's Aero India. Thanks to all the done deals of Indian Air Force (IAF), which has reduced the number of videshi combat fighters at the show, Boeing’s mammoth beast might emerge as an eye-catching flying machine. The IAF will receive the first batch of five C-17 Globemaster-III planes this year, followed by another five in 2014 – as per a $4.1-billion deal, now in play. India will emerge as C-17’s largest international customer, when the last of the transport planes join the IAF fleet.
Boeing says that the C-17s will bring unmatched strategic airlift capability to India. “India’s strategic and tactical airlift capabilities for military and humanitarian airlift will be considerably strengthened with the induction of the C-17 into IAF’s fleet,” Dennis Swanson, Vice-President, International Business Development, Boeing Defence, Space and Security, India, tells Express.
The C-17 is equipped with an externally blown flap system that allows a steep low-speed final approach for routine short-field landings. A C-17 can take off and land on a 3,000-foot runway, including narrower ones. (Across the globe, the standard runway length is 9,000 feet. Bangalore airport runway is 10,200 feet.) It can also manoeuvre using a three-point star turn and its backing capability. This ability to back up allows it to operate on narrow taxiways and on congested ramps. With its full payload and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 feet, the C-17 has an un-refueled range of approximately 2,400 nautical miles. The C-17 is also designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and equipment.
“The C-17s also offers rapid response capability for relief missions anywhere in the world. One of the C-17’s most impressive capabilities is that it can land where other large air-lifters are unable to operate, including an unpaved airfield with no infrastructure. Once on the ground, the C-17 is extremely agile and requires minimal support. Unlike other large transport aircraft, it can turn around and park without assistance and does not have to kneel down for offloading. This saves considerable time when offloading the aircraft and returning it to service” Dennis said.
The C-17 requires a crew of only three – a pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster – reducing personnel requirements, risk exposure and long-term operating costs. It can carry a full array of wheeled vehicles in two side-by-side rows in its cargo compartment.
Copyright@The New Indian Express
GET REGULAR UPDATES FROM