First IAF flight for Ukraine evacuation takes off today : The Tribune India

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First IAF flight for Ukraine evacuation takes off today

IAF's C-17 aircraft can ferry over 400 individuals in one sortie, which is almost double what a civilian airline can carry



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, March 1

The first flight of an Indian Air Force (IAF) transport plane tasked with evacuating Indians from war-torn Ukraine is scheduled to take-off at 4 am tomorrow from the Hindon air base, some 20 km east of the national Capital.

Parents greet evacuated children in New Delhi. Mukesh Aggarwal

A C-17 Globemaster III is scheduled to take off from the air base on Wednesday with more to follow. The IAF is likely to deploy several C-17 aircraft as part of ‘Operation Ganga’. Since the plane is a military jet, it is not slated to fly over Pakistan and would take the longer circuitous route to Europe over the Arabian Sea.

The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked the IAF to come on board. “In order to scale up the ongoing evacuation efforts under Operation Ganga, PM Modi called for the IAF to join the evacuation efforts. Leveraging the capacities of the India Air Force will ensure that more people are evacuated in a shorter timeframe,” government sources said.

A C-17 can ferry over 400 individuals in one sortie, which is almost double what a civilian airline can carry. The plane can fly at 900 km per hour that matches the speed of normal civilian jet liners. The four-engined plane has a range of some 5,000 km. It means it can fly non-stop to any European capital. Since C-17 is a US-made plane, all NATO countries have facilities like re-fuelling and standardised parking bays that will aid in its quick turnaround.

“The IAF is geared up for any requirement of evacuation of our citizens from Ukraine,” IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ashish Moghe said. IAF officers said a fleet of C-17 and IL-76 transport aircraft was on standby for evacuation.

Every minute is precious: Rahul

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lamented the death of an Indian student in shelling in Ukraine’s Kharkiv city and said the government must evolve a strategic plan for safe evacuation of all stranded Indians. “Received the tragic news of Indian student losing his life in Ukraine. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. I reiterate GOI needs a strategic plan for safe evacuation. Every minute is precious,” he tweeted. tns

C-17 Globemaster III on the job

  • C-17 Globemaster III to lift off from the Hindon air base on Wednesday
  • It can ferry over 400 individuals in one sortie
  • IAF likely to deploy several C-17 aircraft as part of ‘Operation Ganga’
  • Fleet of IL-76 transport aircraft on standby

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#iaf #indian defence #indians in ukraine #russia ukraine crisis #russia ukraine war


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