Boeing delivers Indian Air Force's first C-17 for flight testing

Long Beach (California), Jan 24 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received its first Boeing C-17 strategic airlifter for flight testing by the US Air Force (USAF).

The beautiful and technologically sophisticated machine, which has a 77 tonne payload, was received on behalf of the IAF by Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, air attache in the Indian embassy in Washington, and some IAF officers who have been stationed here to oversee the completion of the project and for training.

This is the first of the 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters that India is buying for $4.1 billion in accordance with a 2010 government-to-government agreement and under the US government's foreign military sales (FMS) programme.

Boeing has delivered the aircraft on time and has promised to deliver four more this year and the remaining five in 2014 as per the agreement. Once inducted, it will be the IAF's largest transporter.

"It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with Indian Air Force markings, and we look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India," Air Commodore Nimesh observed.

The airlifter had completed its first-flight milestone on Jan 11. It will now enter a USAF flight test programme at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California, for training the IAF crew as per the FMS arrangement with the USAF.

The agreement to buy the C 17 was formalized after the aircraft's trials in hot and cold and low and high altitude trials in India, including landings and takeoffs at the short 4,620-footGaggal airfield in Himachal Pradesh. The aircraft was then commanded by Col Kelly Latimer, a former NASA pilot now with Boeing as a test pilot.

"The C-17's ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates; transport large payloads across vast ranges; and land on short, austere runways makes it ideal for India's airlift needs," said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 programme manager.

"We value our continued partnership with India and the US government and will provide dedicated support as India's first C-17 enters flight testing," he added.

The aircraft flies with a joystick, just as a fighter jet does, and is easier to fly than similar aircraft, Air Chief Marshal F.H. Major, during whose tenure as IAF chief the selection process was done, had then told India Strategic magazine ( www.indiastrategic.in).

Apart from the pilot and co-pilot, the aircraft carries two loadmasters, but can do with one thanks to its onboard crane and roller floor.

The pellets for the C-17 and the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules which IAF has already acquired are common and can be moved from one aircraft to another with ease.

Also, although the C 17 is a long-range aircraft, it can be refueled midair.

India's defence ministry signed an agreement with the US government on June 15, 2011, to acquire 10 C-17s, making India the largest customer for the aircraft outside the US. The governments finalized the FMS contract on June 6, 2012.

Boeing has delivered 250 C-17s worldwide, including 218 to the USAF active duty, National Guard and Reserve units. A total of 32 C-17s have been ordered by/ delivered to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.

Boeing will support the IAF C-17 fleet through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract.

The GISP "virtual fleet" arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale. This brings spares and support closer to the point of use and makes the C-17 more affordable to own and operate, according to a Boeing statement.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »