India To Become Largest C-17 Operator Outside United States
WARBIRD RADIO – According to a recent news release Boeing delivered the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) second C-17 Globemaster III today, a month after India’s first C-17 arrived in the country and immediately began supporting IAF operations. This second IAF C-17 also will immediately enter service. India will receive 10 aircraft by 2014.
“Our first C-17 Globemaster III not only signifies a tremendous boost in our strategic airlift capability, but also is poised to form a major component in the IAF’s modernization drive,” said Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of the Indian Air Force. “Because it was delivered mission-ready, it soon undertook its first strategic mission to our Andaman Nicobar Command at Port Blair. I wish to place on record my appreciation to the U.S. government, the U.S. Air Force and the Boeing team for the timely delivery of the aircraft that makes the IAF the world’s second-largest operator of the C-17 after the U.S.”
Boeing is on schedule to deliver three more IAF C-17s this year and five in 2014. The C-17 can operate in extreme climates, transport large payloads across vast ranges and land on short, austere runways. “C-17s have an important role in supporting unique Indian Air Force operations in remote locations such as the Himalayas and desert environments,” said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager. “The C-17 provides the versatility to complete any mission, anywhere. We look forward to working with the Indian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force as we deliver the remainder of India’s fleet.”
Boeing 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 has delivered 255 C-17s, including 222 to the U.S. Air Force, and a total of 33 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.