29th Mar 2012, 07:48
Interesting how the UK and Australia initially procured a modest number of C-17's only to see both countries incrementally increase their fleet size.
UK buys eighth Boeing C-17 (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-buys-eighth-boeing-c-17-370102/)
Sixth C-17 official | Australian Aviation Magazine (http://australianaviation.com.au/2012/03/sixth-c-17-official/)
Given the cost of these aircraft and their through life support costs it would seem starting from a low base and working up the capability and then increasing frame numbers makes sense. The UK and Australian orders (I think) reflect that.
What I do find interesting is the Indian order...10 straight off the bat. With the Canadians staying put at 4. Whilst I understand the argument of 'each to their own' I still feel the Indian order is somewhat disproportionate in size and capability to the their Air Force and a very interesting method of 'expeditious procurement' given the horrendous Indian acquisition process.
Could we see more C-17's flying Indian colours once they get a taste of the airframes capabilities?
29th Mar 2012, 08:04
I'm surprised that the Indians only bought 8...look at the size of the country and the problems it faces. I'm guessing that the ex Soviet kit currently covers most of that work at the moment?
29th Mar 2012, 09:18
hunterboy... they bought 10!
Flyingblind... they are already discussing with Boeing a second deal for 6 more!
Singapore: The Indian Air force has expressed interest in acquiring six more C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft, in addition to a contract for 10, the US defence giant Boeing said on Tuesday.
"Indian Air Force has expressed for six more C-17s," Paul Lewis, Director of International Communications for Defence, Space and Security said.
Five of the 10 aircraft will be delivered by next year and the other five in 2014, he said. The deal for supplying 10 C-17 aircraft is USD 4.1 billion.
29th Mar 2012, 09:46
Thanks for that, very interesting. I wonder what the Chinese counter will be given both parties posturing over their shared borders?
I do of course make reference to China's border with India to the north and China's close association with Pakistan. Not to mention the 'string of pearls' around the subcontinent in the Indian Ocean that the PLAAN have established over recent years (partly to protect China's growing investment in east Africa) to monitor India.
The procurement in the numbers and the strategic capabilities of the airframe in question suggests 'something' from India in the not too distant future is afoot.
...Join the dots.
29th Mar 2012, 22:05
We really ought to stop giving all that aid to India. If we did, maybe we could afford all this nice hardware.....
You don't need to say it, I obviously don't understand!
29th Mar 2012, 22:27
I suppose this latest raft of sales has got nothing to do with Boeing selling off some cheap ones to keep their shortening production line going?
The alternative may be darkness and quiet at the end of this particular line - quite soon.
29th Mar 2012, 22:38
...selling off some cheap ones...
Boeing isn't llowed by US law to sell the C-17 or any other product any cheaper than the US DoD buys it for. An FMS sale amount is the amount the US DoD pays plus an admin fee which varies depending on the product and the maturity of the sale process.
30th Mar 2012, 06:44
What Boeing HAS done, and IS allowed to do, is to reduce the production rate to fewer aircraft per year* but keep the price the same as before!
This is keeping the line open longer, allowing for more sales to be picked up.
* This normally increases price, but Boeing is accepting lower profits in order to keep sales going.
30th Mar 2012, 07:25
But all the NREs have been amortised and they have stockpiled alot of parts already, plus there have been savings realised in dropping back to one shift.
It really doesn't cost them any more to build 10 per year now than it did to build 15.
31st Mar 2012, 06:28
I think the last delivery to the USAF is scheduled for 2014 so it makes sense to get your orders in now before Boeings primary customer receives it's last airframe and the line closes.
31st Mar 2012, 06:57
My understanding is there is an order from Saudi in the works, while Singapore, Japan and Kuwait are keen.
India and the UAE are considering more as well, as is Canada.
There may be 20 or so more orders out there, extending production as far as 2016-17.