Friday, November 13, 2009

China’s Strategic Airlift unveils before 2010


Nov. 05, 2009, at the first anniversary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), its general manager Hu Xiao-feng announced to the media that China would unveil its own-made strategic airlift before the end of this year. This first homemade Chinese strategic airlift is set to have the capability of 200 tones of maximum take-off weight. According to Hu, China Xi’an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company has been taking a sole role on the exploration and manufacturing of this airlift.

China Xi’an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company is a group facilitated to AVIC of China. Analysts believe this upcoming airlift will be better than Russian IL-76 airlift on technical specifications. Recently the Russian IL-76 is the biggest airlift used by Chinese military. It features 167 tons of maximum take-off weight, a payload of 47 tons, and a range of 3,650km. Currently analysts are still not sure which model of engines will be used by China on this first homemade strategic transport aircraft, but they believe these engines will be chosen among the turbofan engines of Russian D-30K2, Chinese WS-18, or a variant of Chinese WS-10.

If the Chinese 200-ton airlift puts into use, Chinese military would feel much easy to deliver materiel, weaponry, or personnel over long distances, and Chinese Military inductry would also get much better homemade platforms on the production of its ownmade aerial-tanker, AWACS, large anti-submarine patrol aircraft, and large electronic reconnaissance aircraft.

Currently, the best strategic airlift in the world is the U.S. C-17 Globemaster III., which features 265 tons of maximum take-off weight, a payload of 77 tons, and a range of 4.400km. Its four fully reversible F117-PW-100 turbofan engines possess a function called reverse thrust, which allows the C-17 to deploy steep tactical descents up to 4,600 m/min into combat environments in-flight and to land or to make a 3-point turn on a runway of only 1530m long and 28m wide.

According to the Indian media, India is planning to order ten C-17 Globemaster III airlifts from Boeing of the United States to expand its strategic transport capability. If the Indian Defense Ministry giva a green light to the deal, the C-17s would replace the Russian IL-76s, which recently are the largest transport aircrafts in-service with the IAF.