SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Indian Air Force will be getting its 11th and probably last C-17 Transport aircraft from Boeing in Oct-November this year but Senior officials of Indian Air Force have already begun scanning for surplus C-17s which can fill the void left for IAF’s desires to procure two more C-17s to make a fleet of 13 aircraft.
With 11 Aircraft fleet of C-17s, IAF will be Second largest fleet operator of C-17s in the world after the United States Air Force (USAF) which has C-17 fleet of over 220 aircraft, but procurement of Surplus C-17s will not easy after closure of the production line by Boeing and many fleet operators are very keen on holding to their Transport Assets that includes USAF.
According to Industrial experts closer to idrw.org, IAF officials informally had asked their counterparts in USAF about 18-20 C-17 aircraft kept in reserves back in the United States but USAF due to production closure now actually plans to put them back in its own service fleet which has dented India’s chance of securing surplus C-17s from USAF.
Other C-17 operators operate from 2 to 8 aircraft in their fleet which is marginally small fleet and many might want to use them for several years before they plan to retire them which means it is going to be a long wait for IAF. Serviceability and maintenance issues with Soviet-era 30 IL-76 Transporters has forced IAF to depend on C-17s fleet which achieved 100 % availability in 2017 after initial issues with the fleet and now have become go-to aircraft for movement of heavy equipment for the Army or for Humanitarian missions in the region.
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