BOEING'S VERSATILE RELATIONSHIP WITH IAF
Geopolitics|October 2021
Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India talks about the wide ranging and comprehensive relationship between the American aerospace giant and the country’s armed forces in this exclusive conversation
Surendra Ahuja

The C-17 has been in the limelight with its role in evacuation in Afghanistan – what makes the C-17 such a versatile heavy lifter and how is Boeing assisting the IAF in maintaining the serviceability of its fleet?

The C-17 fleet has been a vital part of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) strategic and combat airlift capability. The IAF C-17s have performed a wide range of operations in military missions, and provided peacekeeping support, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief in India and internationally, since induction to the Sky Lords squadron in 2013.

Boeing is supporting the IAF C-17 fleet under the Globemaster Integrated Support Programme (GISP) and has been maintaining the fleet through technologistics support and training for aircrew that operate the platform. The C-17 fleet has maintained high serviceability rates since its induction. Boeing is responsible for maintenance, field support services, modifications and upgrades, technical manual support and logistics engineering services. The IAF’s C-17 fleet, since their induction in 2013, have logged more than 31,000 flight hours.

Boeing’s C-17 simulator training centre provides training services to the IAF. Boeing’s C-17 training centre in India has completed thousands of training hours for aircrews and loadmasters for the IAF. Boeing’s Global C-17 support programme is a Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) contract designed to provide the United States Air Force (USAF) and international partners with maximum aircraft availability while optimising affordability, and lowest sustainment risks for all C-17 support elements.

The C-17 is the world’s premier heavy-lift aircraft and will continue to prove itself as a versatile strategic airlifter in future operations to come.

Are there any options in the contracts for IaF apache and Chinook helicopters or will a new deal for additional helicopters have to be negotiated afresh?

The Apache and Chinook represent the best of high-performing attack and heavy lift helicopter technologies from Boeing that will strengthen India's defence capabilities across a range of military and humanitarian missions in the years to come.

Boeing completed the delivery of all 22 Apache and 15 Chinook military helicopters to the IAF and is fully committed to meeting the operational needs of the Indian armed forces.

In 2020, the Ministry of Defence signed the contract for the acquisition of an additional six Apaches for the Indian Army. The Apaches are planned to deliver in country within 48 to 49 months after the contract award. Significant parts of these six Apaches will be built at the state-of-the-art Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) manufacturing facility right here in India.

We are committed to providing the most advanced capability to India’s defence forces. We do believe that India has requirements for more Apaches and Chinooks and we stand ready to support them.

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