India alleges that Boeing has categorically failed to provide the training and infrastructural services that it had agreed to deliver as part of a deal for the purchase of ten C-17 heavy-lifting transport aircraft.
US manufacturing giant Boeing has failed to fully comply with the terms of a defense deal to provide Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft, worth billions of dollars. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), India’s top auditing body, published a report slamming Boeing for not providing contractually-specified flight and maintenance training facilities, despite three whole years passing since the 2013 deadline. As a result, the Indian air force is unable to fly or maintain the aircraft, undermining the very purpose of the deal.
The CAG report says, “As per the offset contract signed in June 2011, the simulator services were to be made available within two years i.e. by July 2013; however Boeing has yet to setup simulator services in India, which is affecting operation of the aircraft.”
As part of the offset deal, Boeing was to set up a unique C-17 platform training facility for maintenance training at cost of USD 38.21 million and a C-17 simulator center for flying training at cost of USD 96.87 million by July 2013. The training requirement for initial qualification, quarterly skill reviews, additional instruction and special operations tests was estimated to entail 1,700 hours per year for the aircrew of the C-17 Squadron.
Apart from this, Boeing has broken another contract. Boeing had agreed to set up special support infrastructure by June 2013 at an estimated cost of USD 152.75 million, but has not done so thus far. However, CAG also noted that there were no conditions stipulated for the imposition of penalties for a delay in supplies or the delivery of infrastructure services.
CAG also observed that the C-17 aircraft had been purchased for their high load-carrying capacity, with less loading/offloading time, but due to the lack of availability of ground equipment, the performance of the aircraft has been adversely affected to a large extent.
The Indian Air Force procured ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and associated equipment at a total cost of USD 4.1 billion from the US under the aegis of foreign military sales. The long-range heavy transport aircraft has in-flight refueling capabilities and a range of 4,200 km with a maximum payload of 70 metric tons and 9,000 km with a reduced payload of 40 tons.
According to the CAG report, “the annual average load airlifted by C-17 (in India) ranged between 13 tons and 18 tons per sortie, against the aircraft’s payload capacity of 70 tons. The operating squadron of the Indian Air Force stated that C-17 aircraft could carry only 35 tons of load (40 tons in winter) and on a few occasions, the C-17 was tasked for only 26 tons.”
Original post @sputniknews.com
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C-17 Globemaster III
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military airlift aircraft is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport vehicle capable of carrying payloads up to 169,000lb (76,657kg).
It has an international range and the ability to land on small airfields. A fully integrated electronic cockpit and advanced cargo system allows a crew of three (the pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster) to operate all systems on any type of mission.
In February 2009, a $2.95bn contract was awarded to Boeing to deliver 15 additional C-17s for the US Air Force. Two C-17s were delivered to the Stewart Air National Guard Base in July 2011.
Since it entered service in January 1995, 218 aircraft have been delivered to the US Air Force.
A propulsive lift system allows the C-17 to achieve safe landings on short runways. The C-17 is capable of landing a full payload in less than 3,000ft. The propulsive lift system uses engine exhaust to generate lift.
The engine exhaust is directed onto large flaps, which extend into the exhaust stream, allowing the aircraft to fly a steep approach at a relatively low landing speed.
The aircraft is capable of turning in a small radius and can complete a 180° star turn in 80ft. The aircraft can also carry out routine backing. A fully loaded aircraft is capable of backing up a 2% gradient slope using the directed flow thrust reversers.
The design of the cargo compartment allows the C-17 to carry a wide range of vehicles, palleted cargo, paratroops, air-drop loads and aeromedical evacuees.
Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, prepare for their flight on a C-17 Globemaster III from Peterson Air Force Base to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., May 21, 2015.@fortcarsonmountaineer.com
The cargo compartment has a sufficiently large cross-section to transport large wheeled and tracked vehicles, tanks, helicopters (such as the AH-64 Apache), artillery and weapons such as the Patriot missile system. Three Bradley armoured vehicles comprise one deployment load on the C-17. The US Army M1A1 main battle tank can be carried with other vehicles.
The maximum payload is 170,900lb (77,519kg) with 18 pallet positions, including four on the ramp. Airdrop capabilities include: a single load of up to 60,000lb (27,216kg), sequential loads of up to 110,000lb (49,895kg), Container Delivery System (CDS) airdrop up to 40 containers, 2,350lb (1,066kg) each, up to 102 paratroops.
The transport aircraft is equipped for LAPES (low-altitude parachute extraction system) drops. For Medevac, the C-17 can transport up to 36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients and attendants. C-17s can take off from a 7,600ft airfield, fly 2,400nm and refuel while in flight. It can land on a 3,500ft-long (1,064m) and 90ft-wide (27.4m) airstrip. Source @airforce-technology.com
Data from U.S. Air Force fact sheet, Boeing,
- Crew: 3: 2 pilots, 1 loadmaster (for aeromedical evacuation, five additional personnel required)
- Payload: 170,900 lb (77,520 kg) of cargo distributed at max over 18 463L master pallets or a mix of palletized cargo and vehicles
- Length: 174 ft (53 m)
- Wingspan: 169.8 ft (51.75 m)
- Height: 55.1 ft (16.8 m)
- Wing area: 3,800 ft² (353 m²)
- Empty weight: 282,500 lb (128,100 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 585,000 lb (265,350 kg)
- Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans, 40,440 lbf (180 kN) each
- Fuel capacity: 35,546 U.S. gal (134,556 L)
Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans
- Cruise speed: Mach 0.74 (450 knots, 515 mph, 830 km/h)
- Range: 2,420 nmi (2,785 mi, 4,482 km) ; 5,610 nmi (10,390 km) with paratroopers
- Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,716 m)
- Max. wing loading: 150 lb/ft² (750 kg/m²)
- Minimum thrust/weight: 0.277
- Takeoff run at MTOW: 7,600 ft (2,316 m)
- Landing distance: 3,500 ft (1,060 m)
Specification data @wikipedia.org