rohitvats wrote:We have deficit in almost each area of requirement of the Armed Forces across the board - so if a political purchase fills in a requirement, so be it.
The US Air Force which only wanted 180, then 190 C-17s, now have 223 (including those on order). To compensate, they are retiring 22 older C-5A Galaxys which until the extra C-17s were imposed on them, were due to receive an Avionics Modernization Program (AMP). Now they are heading to the scrap yard instead. So instead of 190 C-17s and 111 C-5s, the USAF will now have 223 C-17s and 89 C-5s.
The IAF now has 17 IL-76s. What will it have once the 10 C-17s are inducted? Will it have 27 Strategic Aircraft or less? Are they going to do like the US Air Force, which is to ground aircraft that still had life left in them because they will not have the requirements or the budget to keep both? I do not have the answers to these questions and am not suggesting anything. I'm just asking the questions. Not too long from now, we will all have the answer right under our eyes.
We can say all we want about the US products, their technological advancement over Russian aircraft. But here is the truth. They built the C-141. No one but the USAF bought any. They were too expensive. Unlike for the C-17, Lockheed had certified the C-141 as a civilian cargo aircraft. Here is its type certificate.http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgMakeModel.nsf/0/ebe1130f30c5eea98525672800703d74/$FILE/A2so.pdf
No one bought any.
Then they made the C-5 Galaxy. No one bought any either but the USAF. Too big, too expensive. Yet there are 26 An-124s which are even bigger, being flown commercially by 5 Airlines in 4 countries. Mmmm.......
Then they made the C-17. For 15 years no one bought any either.
Ilyushin made the IL-76. Its noisy, has a large crew, its engines smoke, it burns a lot of fuel. But its simple, rugged, reliable and cheap. And its certified as a civilian aircraft. And Airlines can afford it. And Air Forces can afford it. Over 30 countries have or are operating the IL-76. Relatively small Air Forces like Angola, Algeria, Libya and Syria can afford it.
So which is the better aircraft? The big shiny one no one can afford or the old one that every one can ?
That situation has made that Algeria has 12 Strategic Aircraft, when France, the old colonial master, has none. Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea, which buy in Russia, have Strategic Airlift, when Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Japan and South Korea which buy in the US, have none.
Which is better? The one you can afford, or the one you can't.
This is all just rhetorical for India though, since it is now one of the few countries that thinks it can now afford C-17s.