India has a vast collection of variety aircraft in its military. While the army is equipped with the Advanced Light Helicopter, the Air Force and the Navy possesses the mighty fighters.
But all disasters are not wars and combat aircraft can’t fulfill the requirements of all the conditions. Here, the transport aircraft of the Air Force comes to the rescue. Be it the devastating floods of Uttarakhand or of Chennai or be it the rescue ops in Yemen, the Air Force transport aircraft has always proved itself in times of need.
Here, we bring you some of the mightiest transport aircraft of the IAF:
- Embraer ERJ:
Originated in Brazil, it is used for the regional transport of VIPs.
The ERJ-145 was designed for a perceived new market for regional jet aircraft, where the increased speed, comfort and passenger appeal would outweigh the inherent fuel economy of the turboprop aircraft which were in service and in development. Apart from the IAF, it is also used by India’s Border Security Force.
There are currently 8 Embraer ERJ in service with India.
- Boeing 737:
The most famous aircraft manufacturer of USA, Boeing’s planes are widely used in the IAF for VIP transport. It is a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engined airliner derived from Boeing’s 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of ten passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers. A re-engined and redesigned version, the 737 MAX, is set to debut in 2017.
India possesses 4 Boeing 737 in active military service.
- Dornier Do 228:
Manufactured under license by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, it’s original manufacturer was German Dornier GmbH. The Dornier Do 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) utility aircraft. The HAL bought a production license and manufactured 125 aircraft for the Asian market sphere. Approximately 270 Do 228 were built at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany and Kanpur, India. In August 2006, 127 Dornier Do 228 aircraft (all variants) remain in airline service with the IAF and the Indian Coast Guard.
- Antonov An-32:
The An-32 has excellent take-off characteristics in hot and high conditions, elevation suitable for use as a medium tactical military transport roles as well as commercial roles. Operating as a cargo transport over the short and medium range air routes, the An-32 is suitable for air-dropping cargo, passenger carrying, medevac, firefighting, skydiving or paratrooping roles.
Manufactured in Ukraine, apart from Ukrainian, Sri Lankan, Angola Air Forces, it is used extensively as tactical transport aircraft in the IAF.
- Hawker Siddeley HS 748:
The Hawker Siddeley HS 748 is a medium-sized turboprop airliner originally designed by the British firm Avro in the late 1950s. Avro concentrated on performance, notably for STOL operations. Currently 59 aircraft in service, it is also a tactical transport aircraft in the IAF.
- C-130J Super Hercules:
The Lockheed Martin’s C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 50 years of service, the aircraft has participated in military, civilian, and humanitarian aid operations. The Hercules has outlived several planned successor designs, most notably the Advanced Medium STOL Transport contestants. Fifteen nations including India has C-130 J Super Hercules in active service. There are currently 5 aircraft in the Indian fleet of the US’s C-130J.
- Ilyushin Il-76 (Candid):
The Ilyushin’s Il-76 is used for extensive service as a commercial freighter for ramp-delivered cargo, especially for outsized or heavy items unable to be otherwise carried. It has also used as emergency response transport for civilian evacuations as well as for humanitarian/disaster relief aid around the world. Because of its ability to operate from unpaved runways, it has been useful in undeveloped areas. Specialized models have also been produced for aerial fire-fighting and zero-G training. India has 17 such USSR models in active service.
- C-17 Globemaster III
Boeing had never taken a step back in conquering the air space. The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. The C-17 commonly performs strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include tactical airlift, medical evacuation, and airdrop duties.