The Indian Air Force is planning to acquire ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III to fulfil its need for very-heavy-lift transport aircraft (VHTAC).

The IAF will be able to carry large equipment including tanks, supplies and troops weighing up to 70t directly to small airfields in harsh terrain in the C-17s. The aircraft can fly a crew of two pilots, one loadmaster and two observers.

The airlifter will enable the aircrew to fly on long-distance missions and refuel in-air and use it as an aerial ambulance.

The air force can fly the Globemaster III with one joystick, like a fighter jet, enabling quick take-offs at steep angles and giving it flexibility in the war zone.

At present, India has fewer than 20 heavy-lift IL-76 aircraft purchased in the 1980s that are not suited for high-demand tasks.

IAF is also planning flight trials for the six medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCAs) between July 2009 and March 2010.