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Indian Air Force gets Super Hercules airlifter

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C-130J military transport aircraft for Indian Air Force. A file photo

WASHINGTON (PTI): Giving a boost to India's air power, US aerospace and defence giant Lockheed Martin has delivered the first batch of six state-of-the-art C-130J military transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force.

The new fleet was ordered under a USD 1.2 billion US Foreign Military Sale (India's first) in late 2008.

"There are few mottos that impart such passion as that of the Indian Air Force, which is 'Touch the Sky With Glory'," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin's vice president for C-130 Programmes.

"Today begins a new glorious, enduring partnership with India as the fourth largest air force in the world proudly joins the worldwide C-130 family," he said.

Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules is the most advanced airlifter ever built.

The C-130J combines the latest in aerospace technology with a proven, rugged airframe design, resulting in an aircraft that gives an operator more capability with greater operational efficiency.

The IAF's new Super Hercules will be the longer fuselage or "stretched" variant of the C-130J, similar to those being delivered to the US Air Force.

With this, India joins the growing number of nations with C-130J fleets including US, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The C-130J carries eight 463L pallets, 97 medical litters, 24 CDS bundles, 128 combat troops and 92 paratroops.

Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the aircraft will be able to perform precision low-level flying, airdrops, and landing in blackout conditions.

Self protection systems and other features are included to ensure aircraft survivability in hostile air defence environments.

In addition, the aircraft is equipped with air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations.

Lockheed Martin will integrate this equipment and other capabilities into the Indian configuration as agreed between the governments.

The aircraft is being provided to the US under a package which includes six aircraft, training of aircrew and maintenance technicians, spares, ground support and test equipment, servicing carts, forklifts, loading vehicles, cargo pallets, and a team of technical specialists who will be based in India during a three year initial support period.

Also included in the package is India-unique operational equipment designed to increase Special Operations capabilities.

In addition, the C-130J Super Hercules will provide the Indian Air Force with modern and effective airlift to support a wide range of national requirements.

The C-130J takes full advantage of the Global Positioning System and other highly reliable, automated navigation and route planning aides.

This allows the cockpit crew to focus on the mission and on flying rather than on managing aircraft systems.

The military transport aircraft was received by the Indian Defence and Military Attache Brigadier Bhupesh Kumar Jain and Air Attache Air Commodore J S Walia at a ceremony held in Marietta, Georgia.


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