New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF)
will induct its first C-17 Globemaster III, its largest
strategic heavy lift aircraft, at the Hindan Air Force base in
Ghaziabad near here after it is procured from the US.
"We have decided to induct the C-17 at the Hindan Air
Force base when the first aircraft would be delivered to us in
the 2013-14 timeframe," IAF officials said here.
India had recently signed its biggest defence deal
with the US to procure ten C-17 heavy-lift aircraft for USD
4.1 billion under which American defence major Boeing will set
up test facilities for hi-tech aeronautics engines for the
Hindan, the closest air force station outside the
capital, is already the home base for the C-130J Super
Hercules which was inducted in February for carrying out
Till now, Agra has been the main hub of heavy lift
aircraft such as the Ilyushin-76 and Il-78 mid-air refuelers
along with the bases in Chandigarh and Nagpur.
After procuring the initial 10 aircraft, the IAF is
also planning to order six more of them to augment its fleet
of the Il-76, C-130J and An-32 transporters.
The deal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on
Security for procuring the aircraft through the Foreign
Military Sales route.
The Globemaster is capable of carrying a maximum
payload of 77.5 tonnes, including combat vehicles, artillery
guns and battle-ready troops and will strengthen India`s
capabilities to rapidly move troops and equipment in its areas
The four-engine aircraft is capable of taking off and
landing even on makeshift runways, barely 3,500-feet long and
90-feet wide, India will be able to transport soldiers and
combat systems to forward areas both on western and eastern
fronts much faster.