arnab wrote:I understand what you are saying. In an 'ideal' world it would be nice to have a mix of transport aircrafts to carry a range of requirements (based on weight and type of goods). And if your conjecture is correct about the bulk of IAF airlift requirements being in the 20+ tonne category, then of course it might mean than an IL 76 is more 'efficient' than a C 17. However, I notice that even the IL planes in their newer models are moving towards increased capacity. The first models of the IL 76 were designed to carry a max weight of 27 tonnes, while the IL 76 MF is reported to have a max capacity of 60 tonnes. This tells me that airforces of the world are increasing their airlift capacity requirement with some reasonable efficiency requirements on fuel and runway length. Thus what airforces are gearing up to do is possibly have planes which are 'downwardly compatible' in a 'normal' world (where you may not be able to have aircrafts of multiple capacity due to funding or logistics issues).
A serious advice - please research the topic at hand.
While quoting example of IL-76, did you bother to research on the status of the a/c and how many IL-76MF are in service? And that there is a variant with more advanced engines and 50 tonnes capacity which is operational?
As for the shift - 8 nations in Europe have ordered total of 184 A-400M aircraft. There is similar story with C-130J - and that too with airforces which have also ordered A-400M. So, which shift are we talking about?
The airlift requirement is peculiar to a nation - no need to generalize it.
Which was why I specifically used a 'peace time' sortie example.
Where again, we don't know wether an IL-76 takes of each time with max.payload or volume utilized.
(d) If I use the 3 X AN-32 for 20 tonnes load example, can't I apply the same to IL-76 and C-17 argument? Two IL-76 for one C-17? Similarly, even IL-76 are not required. The thing is, it is never this simple.The planners will know the airlift requirement (tonnage), type of payloads, distances, nature of airfields etc. That is why one has staggered airlift capacity. You need the AN-32 and MTA and IL-76 and C-17. There is a reason that IAF has already shown interest in getting 45 of 18.5 tonnes MTA in advance.
One can of course flip this argument and ask - then why only have 7.5 tonnes, 18 tonnes, 45 tonnes and 70 tonne aircrafts ? For most 'efficient' allocation as far as delivery of goods are concerned - one may need to also have a 25 tonne and a 35 tonne aircraft (if such things exist). IMO such permutations are endless and this becomes largely an academic exercise. So the forces would have to choose a few aircrafts which best suit their requirements and are able to 'multi-task'.
Let me repeat what I said - "The planners will know the airlift requirement (tonnage), type of payloads, distances, nature of airfields etc. That is why one has staggered airlift capacity. You need the AN-32 and MTA and IL-76 and C-17."
In case you failed to notice, there are a/c in <10, 15-20, 30-50 and 60+ category. So, the argument is not academic but based on practical aspects.
We need AN-32 because there are ALG in north and nort-east were nothing else can land. We need MTA as bulk of your airlift requirement are going to be in that range - the fact that we've ordered 45 in advance is testimony to that. And we need something like A-400M or AN-70 or IL-76 to ensure we can do the airlift role between the super heavy C-17 and MTA. The good thing which MTA will do is ensure that we don't tax our 40tonnes capacity to hilt and can do with lesser numbers.