Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Big Daddy Of Transport Aircrafts Coming To India

Read Technical Specs Of this Mammoth

India may have ejected American fighters out of the $10.4 billion race to supply 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) but US really has no reason to crib. Decks have now been cleared for the biggest-ever Indo-US defence deal: the $4.1 billion contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft.

Defence ministry sources on Thursday said the Globemaster deal, a direct government-to-government contract under the American FMS (foreign military sales) programme, should get the "final nod" from the Cabinet Committee on Security "within this month".

"All issues connected to costing and offsets (under which Globemaster-manufacturer Boeing will plough back 30% of the contract value into India) have been resolved," said a source.

IAF certainly needs to augment its strategic airlift capability to swiftly move combat systems and troops over large national and international distances, given that it has just over a dozen Russian-origin IL-76 `Gajraj' aircraft. Capable of carrying a payload of almost 170,000 pounds and landing even at small forward airbases with semi-prepared runways, the four-engine rugged C-17s can transport tanks and troops over 2,400 nautical miles.

With mid-air refueling, C-17s can go even longer distances. Along with the C-130J `Super Hercules' aircraft already being inducted, the C-17s will play a significant role in countering China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control, which includes five fully-operational airbases in Tibet.

That's not all on the US arms deals front. India is already conducting commercial negotiations for the around $1 billion "follow-on contract" for four more P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, eight of which were earlier ordered for $2.1 billion in 2009.

Similarly, negotiations for six more C-130J `Super Hercules' heavy-lift aircraft will begin soon. "IAF has already inducted two of the earlier six C-130Js ordered for $1.2 billion in 2008. Two more will come around July, with the last two in September-October," said the MoD source.

So, if all this is taken into account, US has notched up sales worth around $9 billion to India in the arena of military transport and reconnaissance aircraft alone.

If one adds other deals connected to military aviation, like the $822 million for 99 GE F-414 engines for Mark-II version of the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and the $170 million for Harpoon Block-II anti-ship missiles, as well as the proposed ones for attack and heavy-lift helicopters, the overall figure will jump to well over $11 billion.

Consequently, all the brouhaha over India choosing a fighter over "a strategic partnership" in the MMRCA project has not gone down well. "We went purely by IAF's technical and flight evaluation in the MMRCA project," said the MoD source.

"While Eurofighter Typhoon and French Rafale were right up there in the laid-down 643 test-points, the others (American F/A-18 and F-16, Russian MiG-35 and Swedish Gripen) were not fully compliant. So, now Typhoon and Rafale will compete commercially for the project," he added.

From US, with love:
C-17 Globemaster-III: 10 of these rugged giant strategic airlift aircraft to be inducted from 2013-14 onwards under a $4.1 billion contract. Capable of carrying a payload of 164,900 pounds after taking off even from makeshift airstrips, C-17s will give India swift power projection capabilities. Another six C-17s likely to be ordered at a later stage.

P-8I Poseidon: 12 of these long-range maritime patrol aircraft to be inducted from early-2013 onwards, costing upwards of $3 billion, to plug surveillance gaps over Indian Ocean. Armed with torpedoes, depth bombs and Harpoon missiles, P-8Is will also boost anti-warship and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

C-130J "Super Hercules": Six of these tactical airlift aircraft, customised for "special and covert operations", to be inducted within this year under a $1.2 billion contract. Negotiations in progress for another six C-130Js.

Goto Top

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The C-17 Globemaster III is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport.
Wingspan to winglet tip 169.8 feet (51.74 m)
Length 174 feet (53.04 m)
Height at tail 55.1 feet (16.79 m)
Fuselage diameter 22.5 feet (6.86 m)
Four Pratt & Whitney PW2040 (military designation F117-PW-100) 40,440 pounds thrust each
Cargo compartment crew One loadmaster
Cargo floor length 68.2 feet (20.78 m)
Ramp length 21.4 feet (6.52 m) structural length
Loadable width 18 feet (5.49 m)
Loadable height (under wing) 12.3 feet (3.76m)
Loadable height (aft of wing) 14.8 feet (4.50m)
Ramp to ground angle 9 degrees
Ramp capacity 40,000 lbs. (18,144 kg)
Aerial delivery system capacity
Pallets Eleven 463L pallets (including 2 on ramp)
Single load airdrop 60,000 pound platform (27,216 kg)
Sequential loads airdrop 110,000 pounds (49,895 kg)

(60 feet of platforms) (18.29 m)
Logistic rail system capacity Eighteen 463L pallets (including 4 on ramp)
Dual-row airdrop system Up to eight 18 foot platforms or 12 463L pallets
Combat offload All pallets from ADS or logistic rail systems
Sidewall (permanently installed) 54 (27 each side, 18 inches wide, 24 inch spacing center to center)
Centerline (stored on board) 48 (in sets of six back-to-back, 8 sets)
Palletized (10-passenger pallets) 80 on 8 pallets, plus 54 passengers on sidewall seats
Litter stations (onboard) Three (3 litters each)
Litter stations (additional kit) Nine
Total capability (contingency) 36 litters and 54 ambulatory
Flight crew 2 pilots
Observer positions 2
Instrument displays 2 full-time all-function head-up displays (HUD),

4 multi-function active matrix liquid crystal displays
Navigation system Digital electronics
Communication Integrated radio management system with communications system open architecture (COSA)
Flight controls system Quadruple-redundant electronic flight control with mechanical backup system
Area 3,800 sq. ft. (353.03 sq. m)
Aspect Radio 7.165
Wing sweep angle 25 degrees
Airfoil type Supercritical
Flaps Fixed-vane, double-slotted, simple-hinged
Height 8.92 feet (2.72 m)
Span 9.21 feet (2.81 m)
Area 35.85 sq. ft. (3.33 m)
Sweep 30 degrees
Angle 15 degrees from vertical
Area 845 sq. ft. (78.50 sq. m)
Span 65 feet (19.81 m)
Aspect ratio 5.0
Sweep 27 degrees
Main, type Triple Tandem
Width (outside to outside) 33.7 feet (10.26 m)
Tires 50x21-20
Nose, type Single strut, steerable with dual wheels
Tires 40 x 16 - 14
Wheelbase 65.8 feet (20.06 m)
Goto Top

Goto Top