Indian Air Force inducts C-17 Globemaster III, forms Skylords Squadron

Hindan: Indian Air Force (IAF) today formally inducted the C-17 Globemaster III’s into its fleet and have raised a new squadron “Skylords” to house them at Hindan base. Skylord squadron or the 81 Squadron has been raised with the motto Saksham, Balam, Sarvatram (capable, powerful, omnipresent). India has purchased 10 of these aircraft’s for $ 4.116 bn and three have been delivered so far.

IAF has already deploying C-17 aircraft at hight altitude runways. Recently US Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle was told PTI “they (IAF) regularly land the C-17 and deliver cargo on runways that are located at 11,000 feet to 13,000 feet in elevation, which is harrowing for larger cargo aircraft.”

Two more C-17s are scheduled to be delivered this year and balance five in 2014. Once inducted, IAF will be the second largest C-17 fleet owner after the US. Boeing, which is the maker of C-17 Globemaster III, is supporting the IAF aircraft through the 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.

Boeing states that the aircraft is designed to take off from a 7,600-ft. airfield, carry a payload of 160,000 pounds, fly 2,400 nautical miles, refuel while in flight and land in 3,000 ft. or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield in day or night. it can drop a single 60,000-lb. payload, with sequential load drops of 110,000 lb. The seating capacity is 54 on the sidewall and 48 in the centerline.

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