India’s first Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter simulation centre was inaugurated in Gurgaon on Friday .The vice chief of the air staff, Air Marshal BS Dhanoa, inaugurated the facility in Sector 35, which will be used exclusively for the training of Air Force pilots.
There is already one such centre in Gurgaon, but it is only for civilian pilots.
This centre has been developed by the US-based aircraft manufacturer in collaboration with Mahindra Defence Systems. Boeing has 32 such training centres across the world.
A flight simulator is a machine that represents an actual aircraft cockpit in its original form and function, and can also emulate real crisis like bad weather, engine failure or any other technical glitch that may arise during a flight.
India currently has 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters. “But we were not able to train enough pilots due to the lack of a training centre in India. We had to send pilots abroad for training,“ Air Marshal Dhanoa said. “This centre fills a huge gap being experienced by the Indian Air Force as the C-17s have been heavily in use over the past few years.“
Not only the aircraft were used by the Air Force in relief operations in Nepal -during 2015 earthquakes -and in 2013 Uttarakhand floods but three such airlifters were used in one of the country’s successful overseas missions–bringing back over 1,300 Indians from Djibouti after their evacuation from strife-torn Yemen last year.
The centre features a complete training solution for C-17 pilots and loadmasters with advanced simulations, courseware and computer-based training to complete range of tasks required for military airlift operations and humanitarian missions, along with other sce narios such as aerial refuelling and emergency procedures.
The facility includes weapons systems and loadmaster station trainers that can be employed individually or networked together to rehearse complete missions. The simulator’s flight deck supports training with night vision goggles for comprehensive mission training.
“We firmly believe that in the coming future, support to aircraft and crews will be a critical element of our partnerships to support the IAF’s tactical and operational needs and to create a strong services infrastructure base in India,“ said Tim Noonan, vice president of Boeing (training systems and government services).
Boeing also believes this is also a big push to the Modi government’s `Make In India’ initiative. “With this simulation centre, we have acted upon our promise to help develop a holistic aerospace ecosystem supporting the `Make in India’ initiative,“ said Pratyush Kumar, president of Boeing India.