IAF inducts C-17 Squadron

Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne told reporters that the aircraft would be able to operate from the country's northern-most Advanced Landing Ground at Daulat Beg Oldie close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

T he Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted the C-17 squadron at Hindon air base near New Delhi on Monday. Defense Minister AK Antony was present to do the honors for No. 81 Squadron which will operate the aircraft.

The IAF has received the first three of ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, so far. Two more aircraft will be delivered before the end of 2013 and the remaining five will be delivered by November 2014.

Group Captain BS Reddy is the first Commanding Officer (CO) of the C-17 ‘Skylords’ squadron. The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne told reporters after the induction ceremony that the aircraft would be able to operate from the country’s northern-most Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) just south of the Karakoram Pass and close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This comes at time of recurring tensions between India and China over intrusions across the LAC by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Click images to expand.


Art: Shruti Pushkarna

Art: Shruti Pushkarna

Last month, the IAF’s No. 77 Squadron ‘Veiled Vipers’ which operates the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft set a world record by deploying an aircraft to DBO, which created much sensation in the news media for being the highest latitude of operation for the aircraft.

StratPost understands that before DBO, the highest altitude of operation for the aircraft was at La Paz in Bolivia. No. 77 Squadron studied the data from this, and other, high altitude operations and extrapolated their operating parameters for the DBO operation from it.

It is also understood that these operating parameters far exceeded the manufacturer Lockheed Martin’s operating envelope and some IAF sources acknowledge that the US aviation company would dearly love to know how exactly the IAF managed the feat.

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Follow Saurabh Joshi on Twitter @ http://www.twitter.com/saurabhjoshi Saurabh is a journalist based in New Delhi, India who has worked in print, television as well as internet news media. Besides defense and strategy, his past assignments have included reporting from Kashmir, coverage of terror strikes as well as election coverage from all over India. He has a Bachelors degree in Journalism (Honors) as well as a law degree (LLB), both from the University of Delhi.
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  1. […] Indian Air Force (IAF) has placed an order for 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, of which three have already been inducted into the No. 81 Squadron and delivery is expected to be complete by the end of 2014. The IAF has […]

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