In conversation with SP's Aviation, Ashmita Sethi, President and Country Head, Pratt & Whitney talks about how Pratt & Whitney engines are powering Indian Air Force's Transport Fleet modernisation
SP's Aviation (SP's): The Indian Air Force continues to steadily work towards modernising its transport aircraft fleet. How is Pratt & Whitney positioned to support this effort?
Ashmita Sethi (Sethi): The Indian Air Force's (IAF) transport fleet modernisation efforts are essential to the success of its humanitarian, cargo, and strategic missions. To meet the IAF's dynamic needs, its transport fleet needs to be capable, dependable, and versatile – with the ability to operate in India's diverse environments. Pratt & Whitney is proud to be the "engine power" of this modernisation – first with the F117-powered Boeing C-17 Globemaster, and now with the twin-PW127G -powered Airbus C295s that arrived this year.
"The PW127G is extremely versatile, dependable and efficient. It delivers lower fuel burn during cruise which enables exceptional range and endurance for time-critical missions"
SP's: The C295 aircraft is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G engines. What features of this engine make it a perfect fit for this aircraft?
Sethi: We are proud to power the C295 with our PW127G engines. The C295 is a proven next-generation light & medium transport platform and the PW127G are part of the PW100/PW150 family of engines that has a legacy of excellence. The PW127G is extremely versatile, dependable and efficient. It delivers lower fuel burn during cruise which enables exceptional range and endurance for time-critical missions. We have significantly honed the dispatch reliability of our engines to industry leading performance, and they are able to fly on command, increasing response times for the platform – which is a critical strategic advantage for the IAF.
"We have significantly honed the dispatch reliability of our engines to industry leading performance, and they are able to fly on command"
SP's: Embraer has offered the C-390 Millennium for the Medium Transport Aircraft Requirement of the Indian Air Force. Since this platform is powered by V2500 engines, can you share some insights on its capabilities?
Sethi: The C-390 Millennium is a versatile aircraft powered by an equally versatile engine – the V2500-E5. Delivering 31,000 pounds of reliable, efficient, and clean thrust, the V2500 enables the C-390 to conduct cargo and troop transport, aerial refueling, and disaster relief missions. A sturdy and robust engine, the V2500 also enables the C-390 to take-off and land from unpaved runways and has also demonstrated the capability to operate from an altitude of 14,000 feet.
"The C-390 Millennium is a versatile aircraft powered by an equally versatile engine – the V2500-E5 that enables the C-390 to conduct cargo and troop transport, aerial refueling, and disaster relief missions"
SP's: How are your engines powering the IAF C-17 fleet performing?
Sethi: Generating 40,440 pounds of thrust the F117 engines come with various technological and material advances that enable the IAF's C-17 Globemaster IIIs to operate from numerous environments without significant compromise on operational capabilities.
Using technical and material advantages – such as second-generation single-crystal turbine materials, improved cooling management and thermal barrier coatings to lower operating temperatures – the F117 has been providing exceptional reliability, durability, and time-on-wing.
The F117s have been instrumental in enabling the deployment of the C-17s during the 2020 Ladakh operations, Covid-19 repatriation flights, carrying oxygen and supplies during India's Covid-19 Second Wave, and even in Afghanistan.
Our evolving suite of engine sustainment solutions continues to support and compliment the mission readiness of the Indian Air Force, today and into the future.