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Monday, June 25, 2018

IAF’s largest transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster makes historic landing in Arunachal; Here’s all you need to know

The landing of the aircraft is seen as part of the IAF's move to strengthen its overall operations in the strategically-key border state.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 14, 2018 11:49:39 am
IAF lands its largest transport aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh's tuting C-17 carried out an operational mission, airlifting 18 tonnes of load into the Tuting airfield. ( Picture credit: IAF twitter)

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) largest transport aircraft – C-17 Globemaster -made a historic landing at Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) near the Chinese border on Tuesday. The landing of the aircraft is seen as part of the IAF’s move to strengthen its overall operations in the strategically important border state. The landing ground is only 30 km from China. After the trial landing, the mammoth C-17 carried out an operational mission, airlifting 18 tonnes of load into the airfield.

“The C17 Globemaster carried out a historic landing at Tuting Advanced Landing Ground. The mission was executed flawlessly owing to its superlative performance and excellent flying skills of pilots,” said an IAF spokesperson in a quote to PTI.

Here are five things to know about this transport aircraft

What is C-17 Globemaster?

It is a US-manufactured aircraft named after two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s. It was designed to replace the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, and also fulfill some of the duties of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, freeing the C-5 fleet for outsize cargo.

What is it used for?

It is commonly used to perform strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include medical evacuation and airdrop duties. They are operated in diverse terrain – from Himalayan air bases in North India at 13,000 ft to Indian Ocean bases in South India. Maximum payload of the C-17 is 170,900 pounds (77,500 kg), and its maximum takeoff weight is 585,000 pounds (265,000 kg).

How does it look?

The C-17 is 174 feet long and has a wingspan of about 170 feet (52 m).The size and weight of US mechanized firepower and equipment have grown in recent decades from increased air mobility requirements, particularly for large or heavy non-palletized outsize cargo. The cargo floor has rollers for palletized cargo but it can be flipped to provide a flat floor suitable for vehicles and other rolling stock. The cargo compartment is 88 feet (27 m) long by 18 feet (5.5 m) wide by 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 m) high.

The operational history of C-17 with Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force for the first time in June 2009 selected the C-17 for its very heavy lift transport aircraft requirement to replace several types of transport aircraft. In 2010, it successfully test-landed a USAF C-17 at the Gaggal airport to complete the trials. In 2011, the IAF and Boeing agreed with terms for the order of 10 C-17s with an option for six more. It was in 2013 when the C-17 was officially put into service.

What are the other variants of  C-17?

There’s C-17A which was the initial military airlift version. It was further upgraded with C-17A “ER” with extended range due to the addition of the center wing tank. C-17B is another airlift version with double-slotted flaps.

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