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IDF-2014-07 - 6 C-130J
AIR FORCE OPERATOR INCLUDES GOVERNMENTAL TRANSPORT DIVISION AND VIP JET AIRPLANE FLIGHTS.
INDIA (REPUBLIC OF INDIA) WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1947, IT COVERS AN AREA OF 3,287,590 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 970 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS NEW DELHI, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ARE HINDI AND ENGLISH.
JULY 1993: SOLD 2 737-2A8'S (20483; 20484).
October 2003: 737-2A8 (22860) returned to Indian Airlines (IND).
February 2005: 3 orders Embraer EMB-145SA's. 1 IL-78MKI (RK3454), 7th tanker delivery.
August 2009: An Indian Air Force (IDF) e-maintenance project worth around Rp25 billion/$522 million is attracting intense interest from the country's leading Information Technology (IT) and software services outfits including Infosys Technologies, (TCS) and Wipro Technologies. The project looks to develop software to handle fleet planning and maintenance, along with supply change management, for (IDF)'s entire fleet of fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters, radars, missiles and other hardware at 170 bases.
August 2010: Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport has been cleared
of debris since flash floods hit the Indian city August 6, enabling Indian Air Force (IDF) relief flights to land. The Himalayan town is in the Ladakh region, and the airport is one of the highest in elevation in the world at 3,256 meters/10,682 ft above mean sea level.
The death toll from the storm is still not known, but has been reported to be >150 people, with another 500 still missing. Another severe storm hit the Kargil District Monday, but no casualties were reported. The airport was damaged in the flooding, with canceled flights stranding many travelers. Indian Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel said August 9 that he hopes to resume commercial flights within two days.
“The (IDF) is working on reconnecting telephone communication links, and equipment for the same was airlifted from Delhi and Chandigarh on August 8,” Defense Ministry spokesman, Sitanshu Kar told "The DAILY." “Almost 60% of phone links are back now. One heavy-duty bulldozer was also airlifted to Leh. “In addition to this, two tons of relief material was taken by an [Antonov] An-32 from Udhampur, and later the bodies of some victims were brought to Udhampur in the same airplane,” Kar said.
February 2011: The Indian Air Force (IDF) celebrated the induction to service of its 1st Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules at Hindon Air Force Station, India, on February 5. The airplane is the 1st of 6 C-130Js ordered under a USA Foreign Military Sale in late 2008. Senior representatives from the Indian and USA governments and air forces were present for the historic event.
“The Indian Air Force (IDF) is happy to induct the C-130J Super Hercules, the most potent and versatile airplane in its class,” said Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, (IDF) Chief of Air Staff. “It is an important milestone in transformation of the (IDF) that is presently underway. The (IDF) will fly an American airplane after a gap of >2 decades after the Super Connie, and it is a historic moment for both countries.” The last USA airplane flown by the (IDF) was a Lockheed Super Constellation, a type retired from the country’s fleet >2 decades ago.
This is India’s 1st experience with the C-130 so the package being provided by the USA government is comprehensive. The contact includes six airplanes, training of aircrew (FC) and maintenance technicians (MT), spares, ground support and test equipment, servicing carts, forklifts, loading vehicles, cargo pallets and a team of technical specialists (MT), who will be based in India during a 3-year initial support period. Also included in the package is India-unique operational equipment designed to increase Special Operations capabilities. The remaining 5 airplanes will be delivered later this year.
The (IDF)’s C-130J Super Hercules is a highly integrated and sophisticated configuration primarily designed to support India’s special operations requirement. Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the airplane can perform precision low level flying, airdrops and landing in blackout conditions. Self-protection systems and other features are included to ensure airplane survivability in hostile air defense environments. The airplane also is equipped with air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations.
The C-130J is ideally suited to India’s mission environment, which often involves operating out of austere, high elevation airstrips in hot conditions. The C-130J is powered by 4 Rolls Royce (RRC) (AE2100) engines and Dowty 6-bladed props that provide the airplane with significant power. The C-130J has been operated for the past several years in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan in conditions similar to India and performed exceptionally well.
June 2011: India’s Ministry of Defence has signed an agreement with the USA government to acquire 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters. The Foreign Military Sale — approved by the USA Congress in May 2010 — establishes India as the C-17's largest international customer.
According to the agreement, India will take delivery of its C-17s in 2013 and 2014. Dinesh Keskar, President, Boeing India said “With its tactical and strategic capabilities, the C-17 fulfills India’s needs for military and humanitarian airlift. The important transaction reaffirms our close relationship of several decades with India and also highlights our commitment to the strategic partnership between the two countries. The airplane’s ability to transport large payloads across vast ranges, land on short, austere runways, and operate in extremely hot and cold climates makes it ideal for the region.”
(TBC) will support India’s C-17 fleet through the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership (GSP), a proven multinational Performance-Based Logistics program. The (GSP) “virtual fleet” arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers — with varied fleet sizes — access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale, when purchasing materials.
During rigorous field evaluation trials in India in June 2010, the C-17 met all of the Indian Air Force (IDF)’s airlift requirements.
A tactical and strategic airlifter, the C-17 can land combat-ready troops in remote locations or airdrop them directly where needed. The C-17s ability to back up allows it to operate on narrow taxiways and congested ramps. With a maximum payload of 164,900 pounds/74,797 kg, the C-17 can take off and land in 3,000 feet/914.4 m or less.
(TBC) has delivered 232 C-17s worldwide, including 22 with international customers. The US Air Force (USF) — including active National Guard and Reserve units — has taken delivery of 210 C-17s. Other customers include the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RRR), the Qatar Amiri Flight (QAT), the Canadian Department of Defense (DND), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAA), the (UAE) Air Force (UAF), the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.
January 2012: Continuing with their sparkling achievements, Indian Air Force (IAF) (IDF) women Flight Crew (FC) pilots have now begun to go where no women has gone before. They are flying military cargo airplane sorties to forbidding high-altitude forward areas like Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) and Leh.
"Since December, some women (IAF) pilots are flying sorties of AN-32 medium-lift airplanes to (DBO), the highest advanced landing ground (makeshift airstrip) in the world at 16,500-feet, and IL-76 heavy-lift airplanes to Leh," said a senior officer.
These "women air warriors" have often beaten their male counterparts in military aviation skills to get where they have reached by the sheer dint of their hard work and "challenging attitudes". While women pilots are not yet allowed to fly fighter jets, they have been taking to the skies in helicopters and transport airplanes in the (IAF) for over a decade now.
Of the around 950 women officers in the (IAF), around 70 are pilots. Take Squadron Leader Teji Uppal, who has created history by being the 1st woman pilot to land at (DBO), which overlooks the strategic Karakoram Pass and only a few km away from the China-occupied Aksai Chin area.
Commissioned in December, 2002, after passing ahead of many of her male counterparts at the (IAF) Academy, Squadron Leader Uppal attained the "B-Green" category, which makes her "a totally independent captain to operate in the treacherous mountains of Himalayas" in a short span of 6 years.
"Though she was out of flying for almost 2 years to raise her family, she came right back to the thick of things, when there was a requirement for forward area operations in northern Ladakh," said an officer.
"A member of the elite group of military aviators who have landed at the risky Vijaynagar and Mechuka (ALG)s in Arunachal Pradesh, she is also qualified to undertake independent dropping operations in the glacial regions of Ladakh," he added.
Then, there is Squadron Leader Veena Saharan, who is adept at flying the massive IL-76 `Gajraj' heavy-lift airplane after initially serving two tenures with AN-32. "She was the 1st women pilot to land a military multi-engine airplane like the IL-76 at the Leh airfield in December. Since then, she has been regularly undertaking independent air maintenance sorties in the northern sector, which is a unique feat," he added.
January 2013: India has selected the European Airbus 330-200 (MRTT) over the Russian Ilyushin-78 mid-air refuelling airplane in an Rs 8,500-crore contract.
Defence ministry sources said the European Aeronautics Defence and Space Company (EADS) “is now being called for the final commercial negotiations” for acquisition of 6 Airbus-330 MRTT tankers.
“The actual contract will be inked in the 2013 - 2014 financial year since commercial negotiations with (EADS) will take some time. Moreover, there has been a massive cut (Rs 10,000 crore) in the defence capital budget for the ongoing fiscal,” said a source.
Both the 4-engine IL-78 and the 2-engine Airbus A330 had passed the extensive field evaluation trials conducted by (IAF) (IDF) but the latter emerged the cheaper option in the subsequent commercial evaluation. “Though the 2 commercial bids were opened earlier, the final costing put the Airbus A330 as the L-1 (lowest bidder) on account of life-cycle costs,” said a source. (IAF), which already operates 6 IL-78s since 2003 - 2004, is looking to induct the 6 new tankers or “force-multipliers” from 2017 onwards to further enhance its “strategic reach” capabilities. Only a handful of countries operate such tankers, which with their “booms” can refuel fighters and other airplanes in mid-air to virtually double their radius of operations. (IAF)’s Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, which have a cruising speed range of 3,200 km, for instance, can strike high-value targets deep inside China with in-flight refuelling.
March 2013: From this June onwards, India will finally begin to add some real strategic airlift muscle. The (IAF) (IDF)’s capability to swiftly transport combat troops and war-fighting equipment to distant battle-fronts will be hugely bolstered with the induction of the gigantic C-17 Globemaster-III airplanes.
Under the largest defence deal inked with the USA till now, the 10 C-17 airplanes contracted for $4.1 billion in mid-2011 will begin to touch down in India in June. All 10 will be placed at the Hindon airbase, on the outskirts of New Delhi, by June 2015. “(IAF) pilots (FC) and technicians (MT) are being trained in batches in the USA to operate the airplanes, even as the infrastructure comes up in Hindon,” said an official.
Defence Minister, A K Antony also told Lok Sabha that the C-17s were “capable of conveying combat units and their equipment,” with a load of 70-tonne, to a distance of 4,200 km “in a single hop.” With a 40-tonne load, the range can be extended to 9,000 km. “This coupled with a short turnaround time and modern avionics allows the C-17s to be deployed rapidly to any place within our areas of interest. The procurement of C-17 airplanes will enhance the strategic airlift capability of the (IAF),” added Antony.
The use of “our areas of interest” is significant, since, as per the defence establishment, India’s “primary areas of geo-strategic interest” stretches from Persian Gulf right across to the Malacca Strait. India is likely to go in for another 6 C-17s after the 1st 10 as a follow-on contract, much like it is now ordering another 6 C-130J “Super Hercules” tactical airlift airplanes after inducting the 1st 6 from the USA in a $1.2 billion contract.
While the 1st 6 C-130Js in the 77 `Veiled Vipers’ Squadron are based at Hindon, like the C-17s will be, the next 6 will be located at Panagarh in West Bengal to take care of the eastern sector with China. The new mountain strike corps to be raised by the Army, at a cost of Rs 81,000-crore over the 12th (2012 - 2017) and 13th Plans (2017 - 2022), is also to have its headquarters in Panagarh.
Both the rugged C-17s and C-130Js can land even at small forward airbases on semi-prepared runways, which will be crucial for India to counter China’s massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057 km Line of Actual Control, which includes an extensive rail and road network as well as 5 fully-operational new airbases in Tibet.
The 4-engine C-17s, for instance, are capable of transporting tanks and troops after taking off from a mere 7,000 ft airstrip. At present, the (IAF) has just 12 Russian-origin IL-76 `Gajraj’ airplanes, with its medium-lift fleet comprising 103 Russian AN-32 aircraft and the 6 C-130Js. The C-17s and the C-130Js will come into play with India progressively upgrading “advanced landing grounds” along the border with China, especially in eastern Ladakh.
June 2013: The Indian Air Force (IDF) is ready to enter its 1st Boeing C-17 Globemaster III into service after the military transport airplane completed an extensive flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California.
(IDF) is the newest operator of the C-17, the 1st of 10 C-17s it has on order with Boeing (TBC). Deliveries are scheduled for completion in 2014, (TBC) said. The C-17 first entered the flight test program in January. "Nations turn to the C-17 for the capability to perform a wide range of operations, from peacekeeping and disaster relief to troop movements from semi-prepared airfields," said Tommy Dunehew, VP Mobility, Surveillance & Engagement at Boeing.
August 2013: The 3rd Boeing (TBC) C-17 Globemaster III airlifter for the Indian Air Force (IDF) departed for India August 20 from the company’s Long Beach facility. It joins the 1st and 2nd India C-17 airlifters, which arrived in June and July, respectively. Boeing (TBC) is on track to deliver +2 more C-17s to the (IDF) this year and 5 in 2014.
October 2013: The Indian Air Force’s (IDF) 4th Boeing [TBC] C-17 Globemaster III departed for India from Long Beach on October 19, keeping the company on track to deliver a total of 5 advanced airlifters to (IDF) this year.
Boeing (TBC) will deliver +5 more C-17s to India in 2014 to complete the contract.
Since its 1st flight in 1991, the C-17 has amassed >2.6 million flying hours airlifting troops and large cargo, delivering humanitarian supplies by precision airdrop, and performing lifesaving aeromedical missions. Most recently, (IDF) used its C-17s to support Cyclone Phailin relief efforts.
Boeing will complete production of the C-17 Globemaster III in the 4th quarter of 2015. In addition to the remaining C-17s for India, the company will build +15 more for other customers outside the USA. Boeing will continue after-delivery support of the worldwide C-17 fleet as part of the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program Performance-Based Logistics agreement.
Boeing has delivered 258 C-17s, including 223 to the US Air Force (USF) and a total of 35 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.
Boeing delivered the 2nd (of 8) 737-8FC/P-81 (40610, IN320/N393DS) airplanes to India, doubling the country's long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
December 2013: The Indian Ministry of Defence in New Delhi signed a letter of offer and acceptance for 6 Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules tactical transports December 27, for the national Air Force (IDF). The new airplanes will join 6 C-130Js already part of the Hindan air force fleet flown by 77 Sqn, delivered by Lockheed Martin previously as part of a 2008 contract.
India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the $1.2 billion contract in September for acquirement through the US Foreign Military Sales. The 1st airplane slated for delivery by 2016.
The airplane will be configured for special mission operations as part of the Eastern Air Command and will be based out of Panagrh, West Bengal, India, to meet specs for Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as the country’s NE region.
The contract includes 6 spare Rolls-Royce (RRC) (AE2100-D3) engines; 8 B Ae Systems AN/ALR-56M advanced radar warning receivers and AN/ALE-47 counter-measures dispensing systems; 8 ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems; 8 AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III special ops suites by FLIR Systems; and 8 Rockwell Collins ARC-210 radios and 3,200 flare cartridges.
November 2014: Boeing (TBC) delivered the 6th P-8I maritime patrol airplane to India, on schedule, on November 24, arriving at Naval Air Station Rajali to join 5 others being used by the Indian Navy.
The P-8I is part of a contract of 8 awarded in 2009. The final 2 deliveries are scheduled for 2015. “The P-8I’s arrival in India is another key milestone for the program and marks our final delivery of the year,” said Dennis Swanson, VP Boeing Defense, Space & Security in India. “The Indian Navy is currently conducting missions with the 1st 5 airplanes, and this newest P-8I will begin flight trials in the coming months.”
Based on the company’s Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, the P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing (TBC) builds for the US Navy (USN).
The P-8I incorporates not only India-unique design features, but also Indian-built sub-systems that are tailored to meet the country’s maritime patrol requirements. The P-8I features open systems architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts, and support equipment.
“We have a great partnership with India, which has helped us keep the program on schedule and on budget,” said Mark Jordan, Boeing P-8 International Program Manager.
In order to efficiently design and build the P-8I and the P-8A, the Boeing-led team is using a 1st-in-industry, in-line production process that draws on the company’s Next-Generation 737 production system. P-8I airplanes are built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes (CFM) International, Northrop Grumman (GRU), Raytheon (RAY), Spirit AeroSystems, (BAE) Systems, and (GE) Aviation (GEC).