C-17 Globe-master III heavy-lift aircraft Inducted in IAF


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.


The Indian Air Force airlift capability got a major boost in September 2013 after Defence Minister inducted three Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, heavy-lift transport aircraft into the newly-formed 81 ‘Skylord’ Squadron at the Hindan Air Base.
The American C-17, with a capability to carry around 80 tonnes of load and around 150 fully geared troops, will replace the Russian Il-76 as the biggest aircraft in the IAF inventory till now. The Il-76 had the capability to carry loads upto around 40 tonnes.The IAF has placed orders with the US for 10 such aircraft under the deal signed in 2011.The deal estimated to be worth about Rs. 20,000 crore.    
   The aircraft is expected to enhance the operational potential of the IAF with its payload carriage and performance capability and would augment the strategic reach during disaster relief or any similar missions. The C-17 fleet would provide flexibility in future campaign and be able to fulfill the futuristic needs of air operations. The induction of 10 C-17 aircraft promises to be a game changer on how we conduct air transport operations.  The long range, heavy-lift capability will allow the commanders to induct troops, squadrons, relocate forces as well as shift forces between theatres rapidly. It has capability to ferry around 150 fully geared troops.



Capabilities and Functionality


 A high-wing, 4-engine, T-tailed military-transport aircraft, the multi-service C-17 can carry large equipment, 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.
   The C-17's ability to fly long distances and land in remote airfields in rough, land-locked regions make it a premier transporter for military, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. 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 and land in 3,000 ft. or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield in day or night. A two-person cockpit crew and one loadmaster operate the C-17, which can be refueled in flight. This cost-effective flight crew complement is made possible through the use of an advanced digital avionics system and advanced cargo systems. In the cargo compartment, the C-17 can carry Army wheeled vehicles in two side-by-side rows. Three combat-ready Stryker infantry-fighting vehicles comprise one deployment load. Similarly, the Army's newest main battle tank, the M-1, can be carried.
    The four engines are Pratt & Whitney PW2040 series turbofans, designated as F117-PW-100 by the Air Force, each producing 40,440 pounds of thrust. The engines are equipped with directed-flow thrust reversers capable of deployment in flight. On the ground, a fully loaded aircraft using thrust reversers can back up a 2 percent slope.


Description and Purpose


The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is designed to fulfill military and humanitarian airlift needs well into the 21st century. A high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed aircraft with a rear-loading ramp, the C-17 can carry large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid across international distances directly to small austere airfields anywhere in the world.
  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 of 3,000 feet or less. The C-17 is equipped with an externally blown flap system that allows a steep, low-speed final approach and low-landing speeds for routine short-field landings.


General Characteristics:


Length: 174 feet (53.04 m)
Height at Tail: 55.1 feet (16.79 m)
Wing Span to Wingtips: 169.8 feet (51.74 m)
Maximum Payload: 164,900 lbs. (74,797 kg)
At 4,000 nautical miles: 100,300 lbs. (45,495 kg)
Range with Payload160,000 pounds: 2,420 nautical miles
40,000 pounds (paratroop): 5,610 nautical miles
 Cruise Speed: 0.74 – 0.77 Mach
Takeoff Field Length (Max Gross Weight): 7,740 ft. (2,359.15 m)
 Landing Field Length: 3,000 ft. (914.40 m)

Tuesday, 03rd Sep 2013, 08:28:55 PM

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