IAF clears proposal to buy three C 17; Boeing says only one plane left to sell

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by blue marlin, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. blue marlin

    blue marlin Regular Member

    Jul 7, 2015
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    The Indian Air Force appears to have taken too long to push through a Rs 8,100 crore proposal to buy three new Boeing C-17 transport aircraft. The American manufacturer simply does not have that many aircraft to sell anymore, having pledged four of the last five C-17s in its production line to Qatar.

    After months of efforts, the air force, at a Services Capital Acquisition Plan meeting on July 31, managed to push through the proposal to add three aircraft to its existing fleet of 10 Boeing C-17s that were ordered in 2011. Officials said the proposal is likely to be taken up by the high powered Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) shortly.
    However, Boeing officials have gone on record to say that after signing the contract with Qatar the company is left with just one C-17 for sale. With its production facility for the aircraft at Long Beach in shut-down mode, the company has already halted the production line.

    Boeing had five C-17 aircraft to sell when the air force first moved the proposal in April, as ET had first reported.

    Officials said the air force could get committed aircraft from US inventory or retracted orders of a third country, but the chances of this happening are slim. A solution cannot be ruled out, they said, given that the deal is being processed under the Foreign Military Sales pact.

    In April, the air force had impressed upon the government the need to induct three more of the very heavy transport aircraft because the planes have been involved in several rescue operations, including aid to earthquake hit Nepal, since their induction in 2013.

    As per the 2011 contract, which was worth $4.7 billion, India had an option clause to purchase six additional C-17s over its order of ten. However, a paucity of funds never saw the follow-on order being processed.
  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

    Mar 10, 2009
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    EST, USA
    Oh well, India should simply take the one that is available, instead of dragging its feet further.

    The C-17 line was going to be shut down long time back, but was kept open only after India placed an order. India should have decided earlier once it saw that these are good planes.

    Now, its too late.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  4. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    May 4, 2009
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    New Delhi
    Any idea what is the successor for C 17 being planned by the US?
  5. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

    Apr 5, 2010
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    Kolkata, India.
    Off Topic:

    I worked in Long Beach, California for some time... I have seen the Boeing Factory while passing by it... my office was beside the Long Beach Airport ...
  6. uoftotaku

    uoftotaku Regular Member

    Mar 31, 2015
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    No successor is planned. The fleet is essentially brand new (in military terms) with most recent deliveries made only a couple of years back. With upgrades and re-wings etc the fleet is expected to remain in service well beyond 2050 so don't expect major thoughts on successors until at least that time.

    It is precisely because of this that Boeing chose to shut down the Long Beach facility all together. The facility which is historically associated with Douglas Aircraft Co. is a bit of a mismatch for Boeing which is in a major transition period. Its military division is facing a crisis with both the F-15 and F-18 programs heading for shutdown in the next few years and the C-17 already gone, the only full scale military programs on their books right now are the P-8 and KC-46. As far as facilities go, Boeing has at least 3 sites it believes are unnecessary, Long Beach, St. Louis and Wichita. Both the KC-46 and P-8 are based on their civilian platforms which have established production lines and no need for expensive replication. Wichita and Long Beach are already chopped now as these military geared lines have expensive work forces that would not transition to leaner civilian work and St. Louis will face the same in the 2019-2020 region unless Boeing somehow manages to convince the US Navy to kick start the F/A-XX Hornet successor early (and wins the contract) OR extends the F-15 or F-18 lines with more orders ( extra EA-18G orders may come in ).

    I for one was expecting this ridiculous situation of the IAF to come to fruition ever since Boeing announced its shut down plans. The MoD babu's seem to live in a glass bubble where the whole world dances at their feet in search of orders. No one has any semblance of connection to reality and this absurd situation with the C-17 is but the latest example of our country and its defense procurement apparatus turning into a laughing stock for the world's defense contractors.
    sob likes this.

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