C-17s for the IAF?

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby svinayak » 09 May 2010 22:22

Katare wrote:Gilles,
Instead of some conspiracy theory it can be explained simply. Boeing didn't need to small sales to internation customers because its capacity was fully sold to USAF. Now it sees opportunity to sell it to outsiders before eventual clouser of the assembly line. Anyhow this size of expansibe plane can only have very limited market outside major countries like USA, Russia, China and India. Only innovative marketing can win orders from other smaller markets like Canada and Australia.

Indian market is an unexpected windfall for Boeing's C17 business and C17 also opens new doors of capabilities for IAF that were not even on their radars until few years back.

It is very apparent that C-17 purchase is a political decision. There is nothing wrong in admitting it.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 09 May 2010 22:50

Acharya wrote: It is very apparent that C-17 purchase is a political decision. There is nothing wrong in admitting it.


And that Political Decision has practical application and fills in a need.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby svinayak » 09 May 2010 23:01

rohitvats wrote:
And that Political Decision has practical application and fills in a need.

That is an after thought. Usefulness can always be found.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 09 May 2010 23:08

Gilles wrote:<SNIP>

But I can show you a Boeing document presently on the Boeing web site that explains why Boeing thinks the US Air Force still needs more C-17s.

And then there is India. And India's interest in the C-17 has to be looked at in a vacuum?


(a) OK. The point that you've made, and seems to be valid, is that certain countries and NATO were made to buy C-17 by US using its "political clout". Purchases that do not or did not make sense - considering the regular and operational deployment need of the said countries. - AGREED.

(b) Indian Purchase - So, US offfered India (an not IAF) C-17, only because the lines were closing down and US (read Boeing) were looking for orders to keep them open. The Indian Government in its magnanimity, got IAF to release a RFI for Strategic Airlift Aircraft and pronto, Boeing offered C-17. - LET US AGREE TO THIS ALSO

(C) Strategic Airlift Requirement - Is India buying something it does not need? Is India another UK or Canada or some itsy-bitsy Sheikhdom in Gulf which does not need these aircraft? And where the Executive is shoving down the throat of IAF something it does not need? - NO.DEFINITE NO.

Even if Point B is correct, it does not take away anything from Point C. The examples of US/Canada/UK/Qatar/etc. do not apply to India. India has a need and if the same is being fulfilled by virtue of marriage of convinience of powers that be, so be it. There is NO ERROR OF JUDGEMENT here, as far as the requirement of capability is concerned. So, let us not belabor this point.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 09 May 2010 23:14

Acharya wrote:
rohitvats wrote:
And that Political Decision has practical application and fills in a need.

That is an after thought. Usefulness can always be found.


Which was patently missing in case of purchase of said system by other government. Not applicable to India.

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.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 09 May 2010 23:21

Gilles wrote:http://www.hciottawa.ca/Tsunami.htm

India's Tsunami Relief efforts went un-noticed in the international Press. 57 IL-76 sorties weren't even talked about. Do the same in C-17s and you are sure to make CNN Headline News.


Correction - Do that in C-17 with USAF markings or C-130 in any western airforce marking, and western media will notice you. C-17 in IAF colors are still from a 'Third World Country' and do not necessitate mentioning in the dispatches. No one here is fooled by the 'neutral' nature and 'values' of western media.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Gilles » 10 May 2010 02:53

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.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Brando » 10 May 2010 03:49

^^ You are actually posing the question backwards! You need to be asking: Can India afford not to go for the C17 now that it's production line is about to be closed by Boeing forever ?

The Il-76 design is 40 years old and it's not getting any younger or cheaper to operate and Ilyushin isn't making any new replacements anytime soon. Can India afford to let this once chance to stock up on heavy lift tactical transports pass it by for god knows how many more years till either India develops the capability to build these kind of aircraft domestically or the Russians finally scrounge up enough cash and partners to fund the development of a new heavy lift tactical transport! In the end, India may very well have to go hat in hand to the Chinese for their ******** copy of the C17 to protect India's borders against China or rent one from the Americans like the European pacifists are doing today where they charge you by the mile flown (and tell you where and when you can fly!! ).

Bottom line: There is one new expensive airplane and a bunch of cheap old airplanes that no longer have any warranty or parts available for their repair. If it was you, would you pay extra for the assurance of having something that is going to remain working consistently down the road for the next 50 years or are you going to buy something that will work today but may or may not work tomorrow with no guarantee that it can even be fixed if you need to!

The question IMO is already rhetorical. The real question is when and how many are the IAF going to buy.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 10 May 2010 11:32

Gilles, I've asked you this before and I'm again asking you - don't extrapolate the situation as obtained in the west or in other countries with India. What other countries do or want is their problem - the WHY of whatever we do is more important and needs to be answered without allusions to any conspiracy theory or someone did this or that.

Gilles wrote: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.


Again, if some hanky-panky happened in US purchase of C-17, how does that become template for how things will evolve in India? You yourself say that we'll get the answer in time - yet you frame the question in manner to convey some deep conspiracy theory and with example (though irrelevant) to boot. Why the desperation to malign the purchase and the aircraft?

You quoted my post where I had said that there is deficiency in every sphere of armed forces requirement. So, what does that tell you? Is it hard to believe that C-17 will work in tandem with IL-76?Unlike USAF, have you come across any number which explains the upper limit of Strategic Airlift required by IAF which will be breached by purchase of C-17? And hence, by purchasing C-17, we'd need to retire the IL-76 - which have service life left in them? I'm not aware of any such number but did try to show by a simplistic example that IAF does not even have airlift capacity for a Parachute Brigade. Hence, mu common sense tells me that IAF will use these birds to fill in the requirement and exapnd the capability.

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.

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.


Again why are you making these inane and irrelevant arguments? What has the purchase of equipment by country x got to do with purchase of equipment by country y? Will not a country buy as per its requirement, the depth of it's pocket and what is available to it? The US aircraft, as with USSR/Russia, were developed to meet their requirement. If that requirement overlaps with that of some other country and if the same is made available to it, it will buy. Is that too far fetched an argument? Which 40ton airlifter was/is available to western world? Why is A400M in 40ton class? Did not the western work buy C-130 by truck loads?

And because countries x,y and z did not buy C-17, we should also not do the same? Why? What commitment do Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Japan and South Korea have to warrant 65ton airlifter? Can the same be met by C-130 type? Which each of the above operates?

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.


It can afford to meet it's requirement - which do not need to be guided by what others are doing.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Sanku » 10 May 2010 13:16

rohitvats wrote:
Acharya wrote:rohitvats>>
And that Political Decision has practical application and fills in a need.
That is an after thought. Usefulness can always be found.


Which was patently missing in case of purchase of said system by other government. Not applicable to India.

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.


Two ways to look at it, the one way is which rohitvats and to a great degree IAF (I daresay) is looking at it.

The other way is -- "we are giving a short shrift to the entire, DPP, multi-vendor competition, LTIPP yada yada, to get this monsters, at high price and much over many critical items"

Is this really the best way to serve Indian (military) interests (India being a large and serendipitously working country, everything gets used and is in the end beneficial in completely unintended ways)

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Gilles » 10 May 2010 18:01

Anyway, from what I was able to learn on this Forum and elsewhere in the Press, I am convinced that the C-17 deal is a done deal. My oppinion is that there was an agreement made a while back between the GoI and the USA to purchase these and other things in exchange for x and for geopolitical reasons. What we are seing now is just the bureaucracy that goes with.
In a couple years, the IAF receive 10, 15 or 20 C-17s, I am convinced of it. So I#ll let it be.

Enjoy your C-17s when you get them. I just hope the IL-76 are not sent to the boneyard in the process. IT would be a shame.

It made for interesting exchanges though. I enjoyed it. The military forums in Europe and North America are full of facists and jerks like the one I mentionned earlier.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Manish_Sharma » 10 May 2010 18:11

Gilles wrote:So I#ll let it be. It made for interesting exchanges though. I enjoyed it. The military forums in Europe and North America are full of facists and jerks like the one I mentionned earlier.

Gilles I would like to thank you for all the technical info you have provided on c 17 in this thread. For the time and pain you took for explaining your convictions.

I am sure one day jingoes will visit this thread back after/during the upcoming war with chinki/porkis and match up all the points discussed.

Thanks to your posts BR now has stacks of data on this plane.

Hope you will visit other threads MRCA/LCA/Mil Aviation too and stay with us.

Thanks again!

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby vardhank » 10 May 2010 18:34

The truth's probably somewhere in the middle, no?
Perhaps, yes, we've had to take the C-17s whether we needed them right now or not, but I suspect the AF must have done a bit of chin-scratching and thought, "Hmm, why not? It's not like any more IL-76s are being made right now - won't hurt to ensure strategic airlift capacity for the next 30 years." Then someone else higher up the ladder thought, "Well, we have to make nice-nice to the US anyway, better to do it in an area where we aren't completely dependent on them - if the C-17s go and ground themselves, we'll still have our ILs to haul stuff around. And hey, nice to send a message to the Russians too: it'd help to give us better service, Ivan, because it's not like we don't have other options."
And Gilles, while I get your point about Canada not needing them at ALL, I think India's a different (bigger, more beset by piranhas) kettle of fish.
Also, India's doing a flex-muscle-cum-extend-friendly-hand thing - peacekeeping plus relief operations, much of it PR - and will be doing more (we'll have to get in Afghanistan once the US jumps ship, I think), and having good haulage capacity isn't a bad thing at all.
Not nice that funds are being poured into something that's not entirely necessary when we could be spending those somewhere else, but it's not a total loss. Could've been worse. We could be 'forced' to buy F-18s with no guarantee we'd be able to use them when we like, for example :D

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby bhavani » 10 May 2010 21:10

vardhank wrote:Also, India's doing a flex-muscle-cum-extend-friendly-hand thing - peacekeeping plus relief operations, much of it PR - and will be doing more (we'll have to get in Afghanistan once the US jumps ship, I think), and having good haulage capacity isn't a bad thing at all.
Not nice that funds are being poured into something that's not entirely necessary when we could be spending those somewhere else, but it's not a total loss. Could've been worse. We could be 'forced' to buy F-18s with no guarantee we'd be able to use them when we like, for example :D



Does it 5.8 billion for PR and muscle-flex, quite a costly affair. I think F-18 would have been a better choice if we are going to throw 5.8 billion. could have added substantially to our air defence and strike capabilities.

Rohitvats,

I think the fact that South Korea, Egypt etc did not buy a single C-17, i think is highly relevant in this context. The fact is most of thier armor is American and heavier than T-90 and still they did not buy a single C-17. dont these guys transport thier M-1's, i guess they do.

UK and canada are supporting thier troops in Afganistan and Iraq, so its strategic lift needs are currently heavy and still they have few C-17 and thier needs are met mostly by leased An-124 and canada was close to leasing new An-124's on a permanent contract basis and getting the An-124 production line open, but khan used its persuasive forces to stop any such changes.
I think when we call Egypt, south korea itsy bisty i think we underestimating a bit. Egyptain Army deploy a 1000 M-1A1 and A2 model Abrams and 1700 M-60A3's and some 1000 other tanks, Similarly South Korea also has a huge force of heavy tanks. So they are no way itsy bitsy.

if they did not buy C-17 in numbers , does it not give a single clue.

Brando,

I think there are lot of newer ones coming onto the screen so probably it is better to spend money on them. It is not as if we need replacement for Il-76 in next 1 year. Barak-8 would be a good example.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby shiv » 10 May 2010 21:16

Is there any information - public or chaiwala that the C-17 is being bought to transport tanks? I suspect that tank transport is a capability that the IAF will use in less than 0.01% of the sorties flown by C-17s.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby NRao » 10 May 2010 21:32

I think the fact that South Korea, Egypt etc did not buy a single C-17, i think is highly relevant in this context.


Why would they need strategic lift capability? (I can think of egypt taking tanks from eygpt to some other nation to fight Israel (???), but SK, where will they need to take their tanks? They should have more than enough tanks and more to cover their needs.)

WRT India I can think of IA starting another front (with either china or Pakistan) and therefore the need for a strategic lift (perhaps not the C-17).

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby bhavani » 10 May 2010 22:29

shiv wrote:Is there any information - public or chaiwala that the C-17 is being bought to transport tanks? I suspect that tank transport is a capability that the IAF will use in less than 0.01% of the sorties flown by C-17s.


I think that was the reason we are acquiring C-17's and there were debates on dimensions of the T-90 and Arjun etc.

If armour is not the reason cant we acquire more C-130J's and which would end up being cheaper and inexpensive to operate. The big C-130 force will also give us lot more flexibility and also the vaunted STOL capability.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Viv S » 10 May 2010 23:06

bhavani wrote:Does it 5.8 billion for PR and muscle-flex, quite a costly affair. I think F-18 would have been a better choice if we are going to throw 5.8 billion. could have added substantially to our air defence and strike capabilities.

Rohitvats,

I think the fact that South Korea, Egypt etc did not buy a single C-17, i think is highly relevant in this context. The fact is most of thier armor is American and heavier than T-90 and still they did not buy a single C-17. dont these guys transport thier M-1's, i guess they do.




Why the IAF needs a wide-body heavy-lift aircraft:-

Even though both sides on the Indo-China LAC observe the ceasefire rigidly today, there's no love lost on either side. Not too long back in the early part of this decade an incident occurred on the Pangong Tso. The lake's 130km long and lies in disputed area. While China had large speedboats patrolling that dominated the lake, India only had small boats with an outboard motor. Why? Anyone who's traveled the Zozila Pass will tell you what a major ordeal going through it is, particularly for a large wheeled vehicle like the Tatra. Well the inevitable happened. The ceasefire on the LAC is maintained in letter if not in spirit. No weapon will be fired. Which of course didn't stop the Chinese from ramming and sinking an Indian boat on the Lake, killing everyone onboard. After all, not a single bullet was fired.The IA's Engrs did thereafter manage to bring two large speedboats there finally to pose atleast a certain degree of deterrence. Now an airlift may have been possible earlier with the C-17 and the attack may have been avoided.

Point is, the IAF in its professional opinion feels it requires the ability to airlift a large vehicle. And that's an ability it feels is requires in an aircraft that will serve for the next 30 years in the IAF. And if the govt. concurs, there's no valid reason to oppose the sale.


shiv wrote:Is there any information - public or chaiwala that the C-17 is being bought to transport tanks? I suspect that tank transport is a capability that the IAF will use in less than 0.01% of the sorties flown by C-17s.



The armed forces have spent an even smaller fraction of their time in fighting wars or even in exercises, so by the same token one could say that they don't need to be prepared for war.
Last edited by Viv S on 10 May 2010 23:11, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby NRao » 10 May 2010 23:07

"Strategic" airlift should consist of more than just moving tanks!!!!!!

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby svinayak » 10 May 2010 23:21

bhavani wrote:Does it 5.8 billion for PR and muscle-flex, quite a costly affair. I think F-18 would have been a better choice if we are going to throw 5.8 billion. could have added substantially to our air defence and strike capabilities.

People have still not understood what a political decision is.
If this kind of money is there to throw around then there is need for ISRO-cryo , LCA etc. This will be debated in the parliament eventually.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 10 May 2010 23:53

bhavani wrote:
Rohitvats,

I think the fact that South Korea, Egypt etc did not buy a single C-17, i think is highly relevant in this context. The fact is most of thier armor is American and heavier than T-90 and still they did not buy a single C-17. dont these guys transport thier M-1's, i guess they do.


bhavani, you're pre-supposing the fact that C-17 are being bought only for their ability to air-lift outsize cargo like T-90. Well, I don't think that is the case. The fact that it can carry double the cargo load of IL-76 is good enough capability to warrant the purchase. Apart from unforseen emergency, IA can pre-position MBT almost any where. Having said that, C-17 will provide capability to air-lift MBT in out of area contigencies like Jaffna or Op. Cactus or if things suddenly hot up between Indian and China - something IL-76 cannot do with T-90* or Arjun.

As for Egypt or South Korea operating heavy MBT and "no C-17 purchase" argument - well, it is a non-starter. Answer a simple question - Why will Egypt or South Korea need to airlift their MBT and from where to where? South Korea has grand total of ~300kms of border with it's only enemy. Do you think it will position it's MBT any where else but at locations close (relative term) to border? And as for Egypt, that country is flat as a pancake. Do you think it need airlift to move it's MBT? And how many enemies does Egypt have? Hence, where will those MBT be? And btw, I think the the Egypt-Israel border is not more than 250kms. What is spread of Indian Army's operational deployment?

UK and canada are supporting thier troops in Afganistan and Iraq, so its strategic lift needs are currently heavy and still they have few C-17 and thier needs are met mostly by leased An-124 and canada was close to leasing new An-124's on a permanent contract basis and getting the An-124 production line open, but khan used its persuasive forces to stop any such changes.


Dude, seriously, how about researching the topic a bit before making such arguments? Any large scale requirement on sustained basis will be met by Sea-Lift - if the option is available. Even in peacetime, 95% of the DOD lift is provided by the Military Sealift Command. Do we support A&N Command predominantly through Air-lift?

And how "heavy" is the heavy airlift requirement of UK and Canada in Afganistan? UK has 9,500 troops while Canada has 2,830 troops in Afganistan. Now compare this with Indian deployment north of Zojila Pass - more than 3 Divisions and a Corps HQ. And India has been supporting these areas through air maintenance ever since the TSPA threatened Leh. And this dispite the fact that we have surface connectivity. So, how will you grade the heavy airlift requirement of IA?

I think when we call Egypt, south korea itsy bisty i think we underestimating a bit. Egyptain Army deploy a 1000 M-1A1 and A2 model Abrams and 1700 M-60A3's and some 1000 other tanks, Similarly South Korea also has a huge force of heavy tanks. So they are no way itsy bitsy.

if they did not buy C-17 in numbers , does it not give a single clue.


They are itsy-bitsy when compared with heavy air-lift requirement of IAF and IA.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 10 May 2010 23:59

shiv wrote:Is there any information - public or chaiwala that the C-17 is being bought to transport tanks? I suspect that tank transport is a capability that the IAF will use in less than 0.01% of the sorties flown by C-17s.


Correct. But should a contigency arrive - C-17 will provide the ability to do likewise.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Katare » 11 May 2010 00:07

Acharya wrote:
rohitvats wrote:
And that Political Decision has practical application and fills in a need.

That is an after thought. Usefulness can always be found.


There are no evidence of any political decision here. If it is a political decision than I would have problem with it. But again you can take political decision when you have more than one choice that meets IAF requirements like in MRCA deal.

Rest of it is just pure speculation and conspiracy theories until some credible evidence is presented showing wrongdoing or ulterior motives.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Philip » 11 May 2010 00:37

This great debate about the C-17 bearing tanks to the battlefield has forgotten one crucial fact.In the Indian
subcontinent
,large numbers of tanks are moved by train not air!
we can move tanks almost anywhere by train.The tanks airlifting scenario even in Himalayan heights by IL -76s.The need for the C-i17s arises only if we have
a global warfighting role for Uncle Sam! This is a shameful scandal IMHO and the snub Russia has given us by not inviting us to the ww2 victory celebrations is astonishing.mms is being seen as nothing more than a White House flunkey,obliging the
US
onevery count.<see how ther nuclear liability
bill
isalso being pushed in the house.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby rohitvats » 11 May 2010 00:57

Philip wrote:This great debate about the C-17 bearing tanks to the battlefield has forgotten one crucial fact.In the Indian subcontinent,large numbers of tanks are moved by train not air! we can move tanks almost anywhere by train.The tanks airlifting scenario even in Himalayan heights by IL -76s.The need for the C-i17s arises only if we have a global warfighting role for Uncle Sam! This is a shameful scandal IMHO and the snub Russia has given us by not inviting us to the ww2 victory celebrations is astonishing.mms is being seen as nothing more than a White House flunkey,obliging the US
on every count.<see how ther nuclear liability bill is also being pushed in the house.


Philip, ability of C-17 to airlift tanks in some emergency scenario is only one of the abilities - why are you overlooking the merits of the aircraft otherwise? It can lift twice the weight of IL-76..is that not good enough? Why is every purchase from US a scandal while purchase from Russia is gilt edged? Why the same broken record every time?

And what is it about C-17 and world domination? We can't move a Parachute Brigade and you're talking about world domination? Seriously, how weird can you get? :roll:

As for snub from Russia, stop being apologist for every thing Russian. So, MMS should be Russian lackey than a US one?They need us in the same measure as we need them. Next time, let them bar India from purchasing a piece of their military equipment and we'll see who they sell it to in the same quantity as India buys.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby svinayak » 11 May 2010 03:12

rohitvats wrote: Why is every purchase from US a scandal while purchase from Russia is gilt edged? Why the same broken record every time?

It is all about relationships. One is 40 years old relationship and the other is a 5 year old relationship.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby nachiket » 11 May 2010 04:13

Acharya wrote:
rohitvats wrote: Why is every purchase from US a scandal while purchase from Russia is gilt edged? Why the same broken record every time?

It is all about relationships. One is 40 years old relationship and the other is a 5 year old relationship.

And that justifies whining about every major purchase from the US?

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Surya » 11 May 2010 04:59

snub Russia has given us by not inviting us to the ww2 victory celebrations
i

good lord - can we get any more insane??? :eek: :eek: :eek:

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby bhavani » 11 May 2010 05:02

rohitvats wrote: Why is every purchase from US a scandal while purchase from Russia is gilt edged? Why the same broken record every time?



It is not about whining about every purchase from US. nobody complained when M777 was acquired or C-130 J was acquired. MRCA contract is pending for 6 years and is still in works and is expected to be between 10-15 billion.

A contract of nearly half the size of MRCA contract is decided in less than 8 months, and nearing contract signing. how fast all the things moved, the babus moved as if a bengal tiger was behind thier back.

If Shornet was selected as a MRCA candidate, i dont think so much noise or whining would be there. we would have celebrated.

It is about the C-17, not about everything being bought from US. Only whine is that we are overpaying a lot on a plane which offers us no great advantage or capability for the money.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby NRao » 11 May 2010 05:11

contract is decided in less than 8 months, and nearing contract signing


Never mind that a RFI was issued in EARLY 2008 and the Globemaster aircraft had been chosen after a thorough study, or that it needs three to operate .. ..................................

All is somehow lost in conspiracy theories!!!!!!

Only whine is that we are overpaying a lot on a plane which offers us no great advantage or capability for the money.


How so, when the final price has not been settled upon? The only one write-up I came across to support your statement stated that the initial cost was $2.5 billionish. It did not say for how many planes though.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Surya » 11 May 2010 05:29

If Shornet was selected as a MRCA candidate, i dont think so much noise or whining would be there



bhavani - wanna bet

the whiners would be led by the Rodina brigade and then rafaele lovers followed by the Typhoonites :D

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby shiv » 11 May 2010 05:58

bhavani wrote:
shiv wrote:Is there any information - public or chaiwala that the C-17 is being bought to transport tanks? I suspect that tank transport is a capability that the IAF will use in less than 0.01% of the sorties flown by C-17s.


I think that was the reason we are acquiring C-17's and there were debates on dimensions of the T-90 and Arjun etc.

If armour is not the reason cant we acquire more C-130J's and which would end up being cheaper and inexpensive to operate. The big C-130 force will also give us lot more flexibility and also the vaunted STOL capability.


Saar - in my college days we would debate on whether to acquire Shabana Azmi or Hema Malini - and their dimensions, but that had no connection with reality. Have you actually ever been bored enough to watch those 3 "Southern Air Command" videos on YouTube that I put up to get an idea of exactly what IAF transports do year in and year out?

After seeing what the Air Force needs to transport and how, then as what sorts of transports may be needed.
Last edited by shiv on 11 May 2010 06:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby amit » 11 May 2010 06:04

Assuming that we are overpaying for the C-17s, such overpayment is going to be a fact of life for India till such time it creates its own Mil Industrial Complex which can churn out the stuff that the military needs. Does anyone here think we paid a low price or just price for the Goroshkov? Or for the matter the Scorpene after the cost overruns?

To assume that the US would jack us in terms of pricing of equipment we need and the Russians won't is, to put it mildly, vodka-induced fantasy.

IMO the only way to mitigate this - when we don't have a capable Mil Industrial Complex - is to try and diversify our sources of arms supply as much as possible. You can't mitigate by running into the tight grips of the Russian Bear, even though he's a friendly Bear.

The other point that needs considering is this:

Assuming that a much richer (than in the 1990s for eg) India has the $XX billions in hand to splurge on a heavy lift transporter, in pure technical merits doesn't the C-17 beat the IL-76s hands down both in terms of sheer lift capability and performance? (Incidentally I think the frequent reference to the AN124 super heavy lift plane is a Red Herring, since it's not in the same category, in terms of performance needs and so shouldn't come into the discussion - for example would it be possible to land a AN124 at Port Blair?).

I think it's safe to assume that EUMA is not an issue here for folks who are opposed to C-17 since it seems they have no problems with the C-130J, for which I'm sure we signed a EUMA.

And do note when we are going to drop our troops into Pakistan for Special Ops, we're going to use the C-130J and not the C-17. So I suppose that if the US of A really wants to use the EUMA to cripple our capability then C-130J would be a better candidate than the C-17.

Of course I personally think all this EUMA rhona dhona, especially after an agreed to common text has been finalized with both parties satisfied - that will be used for every piece of equipment we buy from the US - is nothing but timepass.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby amit » 11 May 2010 06:12

shiv wrote:Saar - in my college days we would debate on whether to acquire Shabana Azmi or Hema Malini - and their dimensions...


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby NRao » 11 May 2010 06:19

Perhaps OT for this thread, but here is a recent paper by Dr. Subhash Kapila (honestly I am not familiar with him):

INDIAN ARMY NEW WAR DOCTRINE ANALYSED

From that:

India's New War Doctrine: New Strategic Directions

The emphasis in the Doctrine or “India’s Strategic Reach and Out-of-Area Operations Capabilities” marks a new direction in India's strategic outlook and strategic preparations.

Significantly it heralds that India is no longer willing to accept being strategically confined to within South Asia limits as China desires and Pakistan as its proxy gives shape to their aims. India's seems to be sending out two significant messages through the public emphasis on this component in the New Army War Doctrine. These are:

* India's political leadership is getting ready to shoulder extended strategic commitments and that they have shed their inhibitions and apologetic approaches towards exercise of military power.
* India is preparing its Armed Forces in enhancing their strategic reach and create military readiness for out-of-area operations to protect India's geo-political interests.

Preparations and planning for such strategic roles are already underway. Acquisition of amphibious war ship from USA, air-refueling tankers and the possible purchase of strategic airlift planes are some of the indicators.


I am fairly sure that India has no intentions of restricting herself to some 10 year old thinking. This is has nothing to do with either one country or another. It seems to me (at least) that there will be some circumstances in which India will act irrespective of who likes it or does not.

google is providing some very good insight into Indian "strategic" thinking.

March 2010 :: Putting India on the Atlantic

April 2010 :: C-17s for India

“The C-17’s advantages include its easier handling (compared with the IL-76) and ability to operate from short and rough airstrips, added the sources…. The Indian military needs to do three things: augment its ability to quickly lift larger numbers of troops as it views possible threats on its border with China; strengthen its presence on the Pakistani border; and fight terrorism and low-intensity warfare, said a senior Defence Ministry official. India needs to triple its lift capacity, said the official.”


NO tanks!!!!!

What a relief!!

2007 :: Gurmeet Kanwal :: Planning for Intervention? Decision time for India

With the exception of the amphibious brigade, the division should be logistically self-contained for an initial deployment period of 15 to 20 days with limited daily replenishment. The infrastructure for such a division, especially strategic air lift, attack helicopters, heli-lift and landing ship capability, will entail heavy capital expenditure to establish and fairly large recurring costs to maintain. However, it is an inescapable requirement and funds will need to be found for such a force by innovative management of the defence budget and additional budgetary support. The second RRD should be raised over the 13 th and 14th Defence Plans by about 2027 when India's responsibilities would have grown considerably. Unless planning for the creation of such capabilities begins now, the formations will not be available when these are required to be employed.


2006 :: Gurmeet Kanwal :: India: Need for an Air Assault Brigade and Rapid Reaction Force

India will need to raise and maintain small expeditionary forces in a state of readiness to further its national security and foreign policy objectives. When the Taliban came to power, a perplexing question was what India would do if it became necessary to rescue the Indian ambassador or his staff. Would India seek external help? That contingency did not arise but another arose when Indian Airlines' flight IC-814 was hijacked to Kandahar. No military options were available. The ignominious surrender to the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists appears to have prompted some thinking; hopefully, some air assault capabilities will be put in place.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby shiv » 11 May 2010 07:23

Forget tanks nd APCs. Even helos can drop lightly armed vehicles.

How many people recall the "human interest" story of the station with atrocious weather conditions in the cloudy, rainy mountains of the North East that is served by the IAF. There are civilians there who need to fly in and fly out and there are military personnel and families who need to be supplied. The weather in that station is so atrocious that it can only be supplied one a week, if weather permits.

Assuming every aircraft that the IAF handles can fly in to that base, which would best serve the transport needs of a once a week flight: Dornier? Avro? An 3? Il 76? C-17?

If you need to supply the Andamans at short notice would it be better to fly in troops on one C-17 escorted by 4 MKIs or 3 flights of Il 76 each supported by 4 MKIs?

Imagine a Lashkar e Toiba naval entity grabbing an Island in the Nicobar chain, with Pakistan navy supported civilian ships with anti-aircraft weapons and Paki Agostas patrolling the waters, with AA refuellled Paki F-16s about ('to protect Pakistani shipping"). Logistics wise what would make sense? 10 C 130 flights (with suitable escorts) or 2 C-130s flights for spl forces and 2 C-17s (suitably escorted)

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby NRao » 11 May 2010 08:00

Strategic has to mean a lot more than what thinking we have been used to. Start another front from Iran (India has an agreement from late 90s to use bases in Iran), leap behind Chicom in Tibet, take Lhasa, perhaps start a front from the Burmese border with China. I could even think of intervention in Somalia and Yemen is very rare cases. And, in the worst case take PoK from the other side.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby NRao » 11 May 2010 09:08

India did not have capability to deal with Khandahar. The Iranian front is tsp centric and ia was prepared even then.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Sanku » 11 May 2010 09:16

bhavani wrote:A contract of nearly half the size of MRCA contract is decided in less than 8 months, and nearing contract signing. how fast all the things moved, the babus moved as if a bengal tiger was behind thier back..


This remains a valid point, despite the frustrated name calling that ensues in response to the question.


1) What is the role for C 17 (yes we know it will lift heavy things long distance, WoW) in IAF, which airfields will this aircraft operate from, is the per tonne lifting cheaper than IL 76, is it meant for roles outside India, if so why etc etc...

The answer has been IAF knows. (Ok fine that part is not a question) but really speaking?

Also it is can not be said that IAF is too close mouthed about its purchases, in other cases it has spoken on length about it.

(In this case too there are indications that this is for force projection roles outside the borders, but this is played down on the forum for some reason)

2) The second is why not RFI/RFP to multiple vendors.

Was the RFI sent to Boeing ALSO sent to others? Or was it a FMS route, where the RFI/RFP is sent to a single vendor?

If only sent to Boeing why? Let us remind ourselves again that every purchase has a range of candidates (for example MRCA gets everything from Gripen to EF) What was so special here that ONLY C 17 was a candidate?

What is so special about C 17 which precluded competition even?

3) What is the blooming hurry? Shouldnt the money be spent a little more "wisely" maybe on a project where we also partner and get IP which can leverage for MTA?

It is a HUGE amount of money after all.

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Re: C-17s for the IAF?

Postby Sanku » 11 May 2010 09:20

NRao wrote:Strategic has to mean a lot more than what thinking we have been used to. Start another front from Iran (India has an agreement from late 90s to use bases in Iran), leap behind Chicom in Tibet, take Lhasa, perhaps start a front from the Burmese border with China. I could even think of intervention in Somalia and Yemen is very rare cases. And, in the worst case take PoK from the other side.


NRao, needing strategic airlift, and from that going to the statement that

C 17s are the only option which it needs to be acquired in ultra-fast fashion, making sure no competition happens etc etc..

Are two different things.

First and foremost, ONLY now, are people in the forum even beginning to say that C 17s are for roles outside India.

This was a point which itself is being desperately papered over in a sense.


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