Transport Aircraft for IAF

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby mmasand » 28 Aug 2019 01:46

Air India currently has 4 747-400's in flyable condition, one of which is regularly used for Pres/VP/PM trips that require ETOPS approved aircraft. Either one of them gets transferred to IAF for VVIP transport, or a new acquisition for a 787 to replace this role.

Plenty of BA's 747's to retire this decade, P to F conversions are expensive but given the age of this carrier, cost can be amortised much quicker. The fundamental problem with these is the runway length required to attain V1 speed. Can we extend runways on all our forward AB's?

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Karthik S » 28 Aug 2019 12:13

Rahul M wrote:Better to select a common platform for AAR, AEW&C, txport but that's too much like common sense, so can't happen.


Any updates on A 330 refuellers? Weren't we going to buy 6 of them.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Karthik S » 28 Aug 2019 12:16

Rakesh wrote:Brar can provide more input on this....

USAF Wants More Airlift Capacity But With C-17 Out Of Production What Could Provide It?
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... provide-it


That leaves of possibility of US selling its C-17 to us. BTW, why did boeing shut down the production when clearly handful of countries would have shown interest in the near future.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Manish_P » 28 Aug 2019 14:23

Rakesh wrote:Brar can provide more input on this....

USAF Wants More Airlift Capacity But With C-17 Out Of Production What Could Provide It?
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... provide-it


Interesting point this..

Whereas the C-17 has proven to be a fairly reliable flyer, with a mission capable rate of around 83%, the C-5M has struggled to make good on its promise to raise the Galaxy out of mission capable rate gutter. As of 2017, the C-5M had a mission capable rate of around just 60%.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Barath » 28 Aug 2019 14:38

Karthik S wrote:
Rakesh wrote:Brar can provide more input on this....

USAF Wants More Airlift Capacity But With C-17 Out Of Production What Could Provide It?
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... provide-it


That leaves of possibility of US selling its C-17 to us. BTW, why did boeing shut down the production when clearly handful of countries would have shown interest in the near future.


The usual reasons - economics, lack of sustained orders. Boeing wound up deciding in 2013 to produce 10 "white tails" - aircraft without confirmed orders while shutting down the plant. It took 3-4 years after shutdown in 2015 to deliverthe last available aircraft.

The USAF had been trying to end the program for years and Congress had been extending it, but they finally ran out of USAF orders before they ran out of foreign ones.

The production facilities have been idle since 2015 and As early as 2008, the plane maker had largely decided that it was not cost-effectiveto keep the Southern California plant open for any purpose after it built the final Globemaster III, according to a separate report from the Government Accountability Office. The production site itself is for sale.

This thread discussion on the same topic may also be of interest

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Khalsa » 28 Aug 2019 15:10

Prithwiraj wrote:
Khalsa wrote:
Agreed, the amount of tweaking that would be required to service the routine shuttle service between Chandigarh and Leh| thoise would be peanuts compared to the life that would be saved of these airframes.

Many large airlines are offloading 747s but I am not sure about the running costs vs C-17.
Did we ever bash this discussion with regards to IL-76 vs 747s.


Well they need to be converted to freighter version first and get re-certified. Brand new 747-8 F version is in production though.


I would not touch them too much. I would keep the large cabin with seats.

Its interesting standing on the parking apron on clear sunny day in December or January and all the way to May in Leh or Thoise.
I have seen 4 IL-76, 2 An-12s and 3 An-32s all full of men returning from holidays, going on holidays and tons and tons of vegetables, fresh meat being hauled in and out.

When Rohtang etc shut down in winter..... its like a disaster relief train keeping the multiple corps alive and fed during the winter months.
747 would be perfect....

the problem is the thin air and short runway of Leh.
I suspect the problem would be the sink rate of the 747 during landing instead of the takeoff

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Bart S » 28 Aug 2019 16:55

^Don't need a 747 for that, it would be needed only if you need to do a massive airlift (~150 tons) in one flight. For routine jobs there are probably a lot more cost effective civilian freighters. Also, most of the freight planes have a quick/temp seating conversion possible (much like a dedicated military transport) and that would probably give them more flexibility.

IAF should look into the 767 platform. It is fairly modern (though not cutting edge), has the necessary military conversions and certifications, and is probably going to be supported for 40-50 years courtesy the USAF's massive investment in them. Not only are there used 767s that could be purchased and converted cheaply, for lower end tasks, for the military hardened platform needs, new 767s can probably be used for 3 different needs: tanker, transport and AWACS.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby hnair » 28 Aug 2019 18:55

For regular cargo pallets on to a paved runway, why do the IAF need a dedicated fleet of freighters like the 747-8 etc? A better idea would be to get a private company to spinoff a cargo-only service and MoD gets into a contract on tonnage moved per annum kind of deal. Also incentives based on the remoteness of the location. The private spinoff can acquire all sorts of aircrafts and the advantage is that they can use the same service for civilian supply chains too, without getting the CAG into a tizzy. All arms of the military can be served by such a private contractor than with a bunch of IAF only frieghters and the resulting jostling on priority etc. A private operator's contract can even have expected surge levels during hot times, so they have worldwide supply of leased craft on stand by.

There is nothing new in this concept. Khan uses all sorts of private air transporters in Afghanistan, including Roossi ones. Their initial airlift of their personnel and lighter gear was through such private contractors. Only the main cavalry divisions come via the Sea lift command.

The MRTT is a different beast. It will be operated by specialists for military cargo missions.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 28 Aug 2019 21:13

Barath wrote:
Karthik S wrote:
That leaves of possibility of US selling its C-17 to us. BTW, why did boeing shut down the production when clearly handful of countries would have shown interest in the near future.


The usual reasons - economics, lack of sustained orders. Boeing wound up deciding in 2013 to produce 10 "white tails" - aircraft without confirmed orders while shutting down the plant. It took 3-4 years after shutdown in 2015 to deliverthe last available aircraft.

The USAF had been trying to end the program for years and Congress had been extending it, but they finally ran out of USAF orders before they ran out of foreign ones.

The production facilities have been idle since 2015 and As early as 2008, the plane maker had largely decided that it was not cost-effectiveto keep the Southern California plant open for any purpose after it built the final Globemaster III, according to a separate report from the Government Accountability Office. The production site itself is for sale.

This thread discussion on the same topic may also be of interest


The USAF has some fairly shaky assumptions on future strategic lift demands which may or may not pan out. The last time the US DOD did this they ended up completely messing up the US Navy's strike fighter utilization rates which created a decade long readiness tail which they are just now coming out of. Most 2 decade long assumptions on utilization don't pan out no matter how well they are done (things change) so the USAF may well end up with requiring more strategic lift than what they assumed when they sunset their C-17 program. A future C-17 replacement is likely 15-20 years away. I can see the USAF leasing the A-400 in the future especially given how the Airbus-Lockheed partnership seems to be developing focused on offering services as opposed to aircraft sales.

Boeing sold its Douglas Long Beach facility earlier this summer so no chance of any C-17 revival anytime soon. Any surplus capability the USAF buys until then will likely be in the form of a service as opposed to a procurement of aircraft. This is true for both A-400 type and KC-390 type in the future...

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Philip » 29 Aug 2019 05:47

The answer for all is to buy the slightly smaller new upgraded IL-76 a virtually new bird with much improved overall performance, built entirely in Russia too instead of Uzbek built legacy IL-76s.These come at v.attractive costs too, much cheaper than A-400s.Payload is almost 60t compared with just 35t for the A-400.As someone mentioned, one could also " call a cab" , the giant AN-124s when required.In the Afghan war, Sov. mI-8/17s were in great demand and used/ leased by western forces.

Alternatively for the US, it could offer to buy back old C-17s sold to NATO allies , etc. in exchange for new A-400s.That could be an attractive proposition. " New lamps for old", as the A-400 hasn't been doing too well in sales due to various factors.Being an EU programme, it would keep many jobs secure too.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Barath » 29 Aug 2019 11:51

brar_w wrote:
The USAF has some fairly shaky assumptions on future strategic lift demands which may or may not pan out. ......
. Any surplus capability the USAF buys until then will likely be in the form of a service as opposed to a procurement of aircraft. This is true for both A-400 type and KC-390 type in the future...


My comment was from the point of view of Boeing, who, after all, made that decision.

Whether the USAF assumptions pan out or not was not as relevant. as to whether Boeing would see a sufficient number of C17 orders in a sufficient timeframe to justify keeping a cost inefficient plant going and invest in creating additional inventory that it would have to carry until sold.

Your point on USAF plans and USAF buying a service, is a timely reminder. It sounded as if the USAF need has not been worked out to much detail, let alone the analysis of alternatives. Thanks for the update on site sale.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Barath » 29 Aug 2019 12:37

Khalsa wrote:the problem is the thin air and short runway of Leh.
I suspect the problem would be the sink rate of the 747 during landing instead of the takeoff


Though it is not 1:1 replacement for airlift capability, don't forget expected railway line to Leh. Though I cannot answer when.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Khalsa » 29 Aug 2019 14:34

Barath wrote:
Khalsa wrote:the problem is the thin air and short runway of Leh.
I suspect the problem would be the sink rate of the 747 during landing instead of the takeoff


Though it is not 1:1 replacement for airlift capability, don't forget expected railway line to Leh. Though I cannot answer when.

LOL

yeah and My grandkids will be watching Tejas Mk7 Fly then

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 29 Aug 2019 20:19

Barath wrote:Your point on USAF plans and USAF buying a service, is a timely reminder. It sounded as if the USAF need has not been worked out to much detail, let alone the analysis of alternatives. Thanks for the update on site sale.


You do not conduct an AoA on an existing PoR or one that is being sunset. An AoA is a Milestone A activity. Boeing and the USAF had been engaged in long term airlift strategy for a number of years and the USAF knew in 2015 that it needed additional squadrons of C-17s but it could not program them as long term requirements until the higher funding levels materialized under the current administration. Thus Boeing shut it down when they could have produced a couple of years worth and used them as a service to the usaf down the road, something it will likely end up offering with the Embraer down the road. So the timing was bad. Boeing’s loss is likely going to be Airbus/Lockheed’s gain.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Rakesh » 29 Aug 2019 20:45

Brar, what is the USAF's long term plan for the C-17 replacement?

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 29 Aug 2019 21:08

Rakesh wrote:Brar, what is the USAF's long term plan for the C-17 replacement?


There are a few S&T programs the AF research lab is running for long term needs, but to get a proper replacement that is 15-20% more efficient and also enhances performance is going to take a couple of decades .

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Barath » 30 Aug 2019 21:12

@ brar_w

Acknowledge your point.

But a couple of points : Boeing did invest > $ 2 billion in 10 white tail C17 planes (over a year's worth) at a time when overall Boeing (cvil+military) net profit was ~$5 billion. And this predated military division wins in T-X,MQ-25, new F18, F15-EX and predated US elections, so military division may have had more pressure against investment into inventory that would take years to clear, while A400M remained cheaper. And Boeing's new CEO took over in 2015. (books must look good).

Your argument is that Boeing should have invested another 1 years worth of C17 and reaped the (future) benefits is a valid opinion; and especially when the factory was still making spares in 2017 (past long lead items ?). But I think the decision is understandable; at any rate hardly the worst by Boeing.

NB: The USAF had after all dithered years beforeon C17 based on C5 AMP/RERP, prospects...but that ship seems to have sailed.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Kartik » 31 Aug 2019 04:08

abhik wrote:For palletized loads the A-330 MTTR woul be the perfect fit IMO since it is a dual role (we probably can't afford 2 separate aircraft anyways).

As far as C17s are concerned, Qatar has half a dozen of theo, should be our first target.


Qatar itself was competing with India for the final white tail C-17, so why on earth would they sell any of their C-17s to India?

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 31 Aug 2019 06:15

Barath wrote:

But a couple of points : Boeing did invest > $ 2 billion in 10 white tail C17 planes (over a year's worth) at a time when overall Boeing (cvil+military) net profit was ~$5 billion.


Boeing invested in extra C-17's because it had a market signal that there would be customers. It was right and it sold them. Selling more aircraft for them = happy customers and decades of sustainment and support.

Your argument is that Boeing should have invested another 1 years worth of C17 and reaped the (future) benefits is a valid opinion; and especially when the factory was still making spares in 2017 (past long lead items ?). But I think the decision is understandable; at any rate hardly the worst by Boeing.


This was not just my opinion. Spinning off a C-17 based contractor led service was something bouncing around the last many AFA's, and on plenty of trade floors over the last many years. But Boeing Defense is led by its bench so expecting innovative ideas from them is pretty worthless. Boeing defense essentially makes its money relying on legacy programs that go back years. Winning new work is a exception and not a norm at their shop so it was surprising to many to expect them to not extend one of their better performing legacy programs..

NB: The USAF had after all dithered years beforeon C17 based on C5 AMP/RERP, prospects...but that ship seems to have sailed.


Most in the know or those who follow the USAF close enough know that the 2018 requirement of additional air-lift squadrons was not born over a weekend and some drinks between the CSAF and the SECAF. This was a long standing demand with the delta attributed to risk that was being taken given the budget profile of the time (along with numerous other areas of risk). The moment the budget profile changed (FY18/19) this requirement came back as many expected. Boeing knew this but they weren't able to effectively bridge the gap between that by coming up with innovative ways to provide airlift options to the USAF that did not consume short term (BCA ends 2021) CAPEX. Its competitors (Lockheed and Airbus) are unlikely this shortsighted and are already posturing to offer such deals to the USAF starting with Tanking, but likely extending well beyond into airlift and perhaps even AEW/ISR mission sets where the USAF is less interested in re-capitalizing legacy fleets.

while A400M remained cheaper...


No one in their right mind, not wedded to the industrial program, would pick the A-400 over the C-17 in that time-frame concerned. One one end you have a proven workhorse that comes with a global support and PBL program while the other is yet to come out of its teething troubles and prove itself out which it will in the years to come (but not in the timeframe being spoken off here (2015-2018). The USAF too would continue to pick the C-17 if it were still available given that it is a staple in its service and they have the logistics and insfrastructure around it set up. Of course now that option is not there so others will step in and fill the void and will develop a stronger foothold when it comes to recapitalizing the fleet.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Philip » 01 Sep 2019 08:40

One point that stands out is avoiding losses..by Boeing.Production shut down when funding for its product was unavailable.Contrast that with India and its DPSUs.Pampered to the gills.No accountability either on delivery or cost. HAL builds MKIs at costs way above an Ru import. Quality control? Flaws; take it or leave it attitude.All done in the national interest and for false pride.The Indian private sector being kept out by babus who control the patchy performing DPSUs.The delay in sealing the Tata- C 295 transport when we're still flying AVROs and non- upgraded AN-32s crash is simply bewildering.Deliberately being delayed?

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Aditya_V » 11 Oct 2019 16:54

Saw this video of a US Airforce C-17 refuelling, can our C-17 use Drogue and Shoot method or can the IL 78 use the US airforce method ?

https://twitter.com/Chopsyturvey/status/1181854826570739714

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Bala Vignesh » 11 Oct 2019 17:25

Aditya_V wrote:Saw this video of a US Airforce C-17 refuelling, can our C-17 use Drogue and Shoot method or can the IL 78 use the US airforce method ?

https://twitter.com/Chopsyturvey/status/1181854826570739714

Nope!! The C17 and P8I require a flying boom and the Il76 is not going to be equipped with one for a obvious reason.

I have always been puzzled by the IAF's and IN's choice to not convert the boom receptacle to a probe for IFR compatible with the equipment in our possession.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby nachiket » 12 Oct 2019 00:27

I doubt the IAF is envisaging a scenario where our C-17's would need air-to-air refueling. They obviously have enough range to fly anywhere within India. Only time they fly outside is during exercises where there are intermediate halts on the way.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Roop » 12 Oct 2019 01:02

brar_w wrote:No one in their right mind, not wedded to the industrial program, would pick the A-400 over the C-17 in that time-frame concerned.

Or in any other time-frame, for that matter. The A-400 may turn out to be a fine plane some time in the future, after all the teething troubles (TT) are worked out, but it will never be a direct competitor to the C-17, TT or no TT. It is a matter of opinion/debate whether it will even be (post-TT) a worthy competitor to the current up-engined IL-76.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 12 Oct 2019 01:16

The A-400 will eventually turn out to be a capable airlifter. I'm sure the USAF will end up operating either directly or via contracted services as will many others.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Philip » 12 Oct 2019 04:54

The A-400 is 20B Euros over budget and unless sales are made to non-EU/ NATO nations will not be a cost-effective programme. Add to this delivery delays have also plagued the programme why sales are sluggish. The unit cost now estimated at being $150M, is a big dampener.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 12 Oct 2019 05:14

This fundamentally ignores the contracted airlift market that is expected to become a real thing in the coming years-decades. EOS will come via aggregated demand. Airbus and Lockheed are already exploring partnerships to that end. The A-400 program is a multi-national Euro program that is not going to go anywhere because it ensures high end jobs for major european economies. Whether it makes or doesn't make money has little bearing on how capable it will be or how many they'll build.The aircraft is expected to perform well and fit in between the C-130 and the C-17 and the end of production of the latter does not really have a western competitor. I expect a major push from Airbus and Lockheed to the USAF early-mid next decade. The USAF has already announced that it needs greater Air Lift, and the C-17 is no longer in production. Contracted capability has less budget volatility (you only pay for what you consume) and will therefore appear to be an attractive option when budget uncertainties persist.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby chola » 12 Oct 2019 13:36

Larger transports like A-400 can be bought off the shelf for now. But we need to MII a mid-sized platform. The C-295 will likely be screwdriver giri since it is unlikely we'll get controllable tech from Airbus.

And is there anyway to start a homegrown project like the MTA but on our own and without the Russians? I would assume building a cargo aircraft the size of a C-295 is simpler than a fighter like the Tejas. The C-295 itself started in Spain with CASA before being bought by Airbus. I would think HAL is an equivalent if not better than a Spanish firm?

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby ldev » 12 Oct 2019 19:16

agupta wrote: 50+ years of License manufacturing/ToT IS the investment that manufacturing concerns get...if you still don't develop the competences, a large part of the blame is yours alone.


Bingo!!

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby chola » 14 Oct 2019 11:13

^^^ Nothing against srewdrivergiri as a learning rung of the ladder. But after 50 years of it, we should be further up the ladder.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Cain Marko » 14 Oct 2019 22:42

chola wrote:^^^ Nothing against srewdrivergiri as a learning rung of the ladder. But after 50 years of it, we should be further up the ladder.

We are, the results are slow but will show within a decade.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Cybaru » 15 Oct 2019 00:05

Brar,

at what order size does it make sense for Boeing to restart the C17 line? 80? 100? USAF needs another 60 or so. It might be possible to find another 30-40 orders outside US.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 15 Oct 2019 00:58

That ship has sailed.. the production site has been sold and the demand has moved and since there are partial alternatives available those will mop up whatever demand is projected in the interim. The USAF is upping its investments for the next strategic airlift technologies so that is where the investment will be focused. If they need more lift (which they do as they've ID'd 1-2 more squadrons) they'll prefer contracted services.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Cybaru » 15 Oct 2019 04:34


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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 15 Oct 2019 05:13

Cybaru wrote:THis is what prompted my question. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... tion-line/


Anything is possible if you throw enough money at the problem. But realistically, the cost-benefit is not there. USAF needs a couple of squadrons of airlift. That is not to justify the Capital expense of funding a production run for which Boeing would have to first chose a location (they sold the land on which the C-17 factory was based to a residential/commercial developer), then move or order new machinery, move, hire and train the workforce, and then re-certify the entire facility for DOD compliance. Meanwhile, there are other ways to affordable, over time, achieve the same airlift footprint without embarking on such an expensive endeavor. The same will happen with the P-8, and the V-22 in the short term. On the P-8 it will be only the cost of restarting production of the MPA specific equipment but there will be a cost involved. Boeing has this issue with its legacy programs getting close to a sunset and has been communicating this to potential interested parties so that they can hurry up and place orders. They did the same on the C-17..few responded and were able to scoop up the orders. They should have built tails and used them as a contracted service. Many at the Air Force Association's annual have been talking about this for the last few years. But Boeing chose not to take that risk and shut it down.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Indranil » 15 Oct 2019 05:18

So, Chinese and Russians will be the only ones left with the capability to roll out aircrafts with 50 ton+ airlift capability?

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby brar_w » 15 Oct 2019 05:32

Yes for now. The C-5 fleet for the USAF is being upgraded which will add life and improve reliability. There are more than 50 C-5A's at the boneyard that can be upgraded and brought back into the active duty if needed.The more than 200 C-17's don't need a replacement for some time still. USAF has funded next generation mobility focused Science and Technology programs that will support the work for their replacement in the future. In the meantime, I'm sure they will look at contracted airlift to fill gaps so that they can plan 5-6 years at a time in the interim utilizing in production systems like the C-130, A-400 and KC-390 or even leasing commercial airlift options.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Cybaru » 15 Oct 2019 06:46

Time to convert all older Air India planes to cargo mode and move it for regular duty! Save them C17s for when really needed for outsized cargo or try QATAR and UAE to sell their fleet to us.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby chola » 15 Oct 2019 08:32

The Japanese are actively looking for overseas customer of their well-regarded Kawasaki C2 transport.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/avalon/2019/02/28/japan-pitches-c-2-for-new-zealand-transport-fleet/

Image

I am surprised that India had not been mentioned as a possible buyer/partner.

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Re: Transport Aircraft for IAF

Postby Kartik » 30 Jan 2020 04:10

This could be a game changer for the IAF, if it proceeds with the C-295! Even if a dozen of the 56 odd C-295s would be used as dedicated or semi-dedicated tankers, it would solve one of the pressing problems facing the IAF, which is the serious lack of refueling tankers and the inability to get the tender past the single vendor situation.

Image

C-295 conducts first wet contacts as tanker

Airbus announced in a press release on 29 January that a C295 had performed wet contacts as a tanker for the first time with a Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) C295 earlier in the month.

This was part of an air-to-air (AAR) flight test campaign that began with dry contacts in December using a C295 in closed ramp configuration with a 100 ft (30 m) hose and remote vision system.

The company reported that wet contacts had been conducted by flights out of Seville in January between an Airbus C295 aircraft fitted with a removable AAR kit and an EdAE C295 acting as a receiver at flight speeds of 100–130 kt (185–241 km/h).


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