Adux, I agree with the points partially, If we compare IL 76 and C 17 in one to one, then it will not be ideal. Of the IL 76 retiring, no way we are going to replace them one by one with C 17. Also US AF operates so many C 17 because of global policing duty, we have no intentions of doing that. Though it will be good to see the higher number of C 17 in service, but I don't see that is happening.
Wether India likes it or not, we will be doing Global policing duties, earlier we shunned it, simply because we couldnt, call it the case of sour grapes. We have always done policing duties where we could, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc.As India grows, this is only going to increase. Let us not undersell our own capacity and vision. Our Strategic Transport Fleet will only increase as the demand for it increases as time passes by.
If IL-76 is not going to be retired in the next 3 years which I am pretty sure it is not, then why purchase C-17 with so much urgency. Look at their delivery times. 2 years after contract signature. This only tells you one thing, IAF is increasing its strategic transport fleet size. 8-10 years down the line, when IL-76's starts retiring, why wouldn't India be able to buy more then, if it can do now?
To be honest, I envision a Strategic Transport fleet of nearly 50 C-17's by 2025.
Valid point. You can bet your bottom dollar, India is going to keep them going till 2018 for sure. That is when Il-76's will start retiring. That is when we will place our next order after the intial 16. Have to see good planning by both IAF and Boeing. When I say 50 Strategic Transport Aircraft, It doesnt really have to be all C-17's or all IL-76, might be a new product in 2018 from the western or eastern stable, or maybe even IL-476.
For C130 and C17 (or other transport aircrafts for that matter) to deliver IFVs, light tanks or BMPs to hot spots you don't actually need to have a runway. Look at these combat delivery training footages:
This could also be done by C17, Il76, An12, and other similar sized military transports. I still think that transport of IFVs or BMPs by Mi26 is impractical.
Last edited by asianobserve; 08-04-12 at 01:15 PM.
Not required. Ilyushin-76 can deliver from a greater height. Low altitude flights always make aeroplanes vulnerable to MANPADs. Majority of aircraft lost during the Soviet-Mujahideen War were during low level flights, a significant number of them during take off and landing. Also, up in the mountains high-altitude vertical air-dropping makes more sense than doing a low level air-drop which requires flat land, which you won't find much in the Himalayas.
Don't know what you mean by versatile or flexible.
I believe C-17s can also do high altitude air-drops and that is what is required in the Himalayas. Low altitude airdrops have limited scope. Also, in the Himalayas, you don't want to fly low. C-17 will come handy when inserting troops, because of their capacity, and they will be used for high-altitude airdrops (Kunal correct me if I am wrong).