Just over a month after the delivery of the first Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has received the second of ten of these aircraft on order, with the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne accepting delivery of the aircraft at the company’s Long Beach plant in California, USA.
According to a Boeing statement, the company delivered the aircraft ‘a month after India’s first C-17 arrived in the country and immediately began supporting IAF operations’.
The statement quoted Browne as saying, “Our first C-17 Globemaster III not only signifies a tremendous boost in our strategic airlift capability, but also is poised to form a major component in the IAF’s modernization drive. “Because it was delivered mission-ready, it soon undertook its first strategic mission to our Andaman Nicobar Command at Port Blair. I wish to place on record my appreciation to the US government, the US Air Force and the Boeing team for the timely delivery of the aircraft that makes the IAF the world’s second-largest operator of the C-17 after the US,” he added.
Boeing’s statement added that ‘This second IAF C-17 also will immediately enter service’ and that ‘India will receive 10 aircraft by 2014’. The company says it is ‘on schedule to deliver three more IAF C-17s this year and five in 2014’.
The statement quoted its C-17 program manager, Nan Bouchard, as saying, “C-17s have an important role in supporting unique Indian Air Force operations in remote locations such as the Himalayas and desert environments. “The C-17 provides the versatility to complete any mission, anywhere. We look forward to working with the Indian Air Force and the US Air Force as we deliver the remainder of India’s fleet,” Bouchard added.
The IAF C-17 fleet is to be supported by the company’s 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,” said the statement. Boeing has set up infrastructure at Hindon air base for supporting the C-17 fleet.
Boeing has so far delivered 255 of these aircraft, of which 222 have been inducted into the US Air Force. The rest of the 33 have been delivered to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.