For the FIRST time in the history of Mangaluru International Airport (MIA), one of the Indian Air Force’s largest aircraft landed, to transport empty Oxygen tanks back to Kuwait from Mangaluru.
Recently the Indian Air Force had started transporting trucks carrying oxygen in its C-17 Globemaster-III and also IL-76 cargo aircraft. This is a masterstroke by the Indian Air Force as it reduces the time taken to transfer oxygen from one part of the country to another by a huge margin. Time is extremely important as the demand for pure oxygen is at an all-time high in view of the second wave of Covid-19.
The Indian Air Force has come forward in transporting cryogenic oxygen container trucks with its large cargo aircraft. The demand for pure molecular oxygen is at its peak in several cities across India. The trucks that transport the molecular oxygen from the cryogenic plant to the hospitals or filling stations in need are limited by a number of factors.
The biggest limiting factor is time. Trucks sometimes have to travel hundreds of kilometres to deliver the oxygen. This process takes several hours, sometimes even overnight drives are required to be undertaken. Adding to this are factors like driver fatigue, roadblocks, fuel stops, etc.
The Indian Air Force has found that usage of its giant cargo aircraft cuts down massively on all of the aforementioned limiting factors. The aircraft being used for this operation is the Ilyushin IL-76 and the C-17 Globemaster-III which is the largest aircraft in the IAF’s arsenal.
The C-17 Globemaster-III. Produced by Boeing, this is the largest aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force. It is capable of transporting heavy cargo like battle tanks. It can also air-drop hundreds of soldiers into the battlefield or a reduced number of soldiers along with infantry equipment.
The Indian Air Force operates 11 of these behemoths. The Indian Air Force has always been proactive in serving the country in time of need. The organisation has previously used its helicopters and aircraft during natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc. Now, the aircraft are in service, providing oxygen to those in need of it, according to MIA sources.