First C-17 to ar­rive in In­dia shortly


The In­dian Navy isn’t the only ser­vice that gets the bask in the glow of a brand new Amer­i­can-built bird. The IAF will soon wel­come to In­dia its first Boe­ing C-17 Globe­mas­ter-III heavy-lift trans­port air­craft, due to ar­rive shortly. The win­dow of ar­rival is May-June, so teams are all set to ferry the first bird back to home­base, Hin­don Air Force Sta­tion.

All 10 air­craft will be de­liv­ered by the end of 2014, by which time op­er­a­tions will al­ready be in full swing. Batches of In­dian pi­lots and load­mas­ters have been un­dergo- ing train­ing with the US Air Force at Al­tus, Ok­la­homa, and will be the lead teams that bring in the C-17 into In­dian ser­vice. Once de­liv­er­ies be­gin this month or the next, the In­dian Air Force will rapidly be­gin a process to de­ter­mine whether it plans to buy 6-10 more air­craft from Boe­ing. Such a de­ci­sion will need to be quickly made since man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions will be­gun wind­ing down at Boe­ing’s Long Beach fa­cil­ity to­wards the end of 2014, and it will need firm or­ders to keep such a mas­sive fa­cil­ity open. Sources in­di­cate the IAF has al­ready con­veyed to the govern­ment that it would re­quire at least 20 C-17s for mean­ing­ful op­er­a­tions on the type, and given its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

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