C-17 Globemaster: IAF for first time lands its largest transport aircraft at Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting airfield
The Indian Air Force (IAF) for first time flawlessly landed its largest transport US-manufactured aircraft, C-17 Globemaster at strategic Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh, which is close to Chinese border. After the trial landing, C17 carried out operations mission and airlifted 18 tons of load.
- The landing of this aircraft is seen as part of IAF’s move to strengthen its overall operations in strategically-key border state. It also demonstrated IAF’s capability in terms of operational performance and tactical air mobility in challenging Tuting airfield which is surrounded high hills in narrow valley.
- Earlier, in November 2016 too, IAF had successfully carried out landing of C-17 Globemaster at its strategic ALG of Mechuka in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh which was re-activated in May 2016 and is just 29 kilometers from border with China.
- The C-17 is US-manufactured transport aircraft commonly used to perform strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world along with medical evacuation and airdrop duties.
- It is 174 feet long and has wingspan of about 170 feet (52 m). Its cargo compartment is 88 feet (27 m) long by 18 feet (5.5 m) wide by 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 m) high.
- Its floor has rollers for palletized cargo but it can be flipped to provide flat floor suitable for vehicles and other rolling stock. The cargo
- It can be operated in diverse terrain from Himalayan air bases in North India at 13,000 ft to Indian Ocean bases in South India. It can carry payload of 77.50 tonnes and its maximum takeoff weight is 265 tonnes.
- Indian Air Force in June 2009 had planned induct C-17 for its very heavy lift transport aircraft requirement to replace several types of transport aircraft. In 2011, IAF and Boeing had agreed with terms for order of 10 C-17s with an option for six more. In 2013, C-17 was officially put into service by IAF.