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Aero India 2023

IAF's C-130J airlifter to arrive this week


C-130J Super Hercules.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Strengthening its capabilities for carrying out Special Forces' operations, the first US made C-130J 'Hercules' aircraft will join the Indian Air Force this week at the Hindon air base near here.

After the arrival of the first of the six C-130Js that India has placed orders with the US, a formal induction ceremony will be held in February first week at the Hindon air base itself before flying off to be displayed at the biennial Aero India show, IAF officials said here.

The first aircraft was handed over to India by the US Air Force under a USD 970 million deal in mid-December last month there.

The aircraft, expected to considerably enhance IAF's special missions capability, will also be used for transporting men and material, they said.

In 2008, India had purchased the aircraft under the US government's Foreign Military Sales route that includes an offset clause under which the firm will invest 30 per cent of the deal amount back in Indian defence industry.

The aircraft will be based at Hindon in Ghaziabad just outside the capital, where the infrastructure for its deployment has been completed.

The aircraft would also be pressed into service for transporting Special Forces from the capital to other places in the country in case need arises and reduce their response time as well.

Presently, 18 pilots, nine load masters and nine combat system operators are being trained in the US.

The US government had offered a unique C-130J configuration for special mission roles and these will be the first uniquely configured aircraft in the IAF fleet for its special operations.

The aircraft will be able to perform precision low- level flying, air drops and landing in blackout conditions.

Special features are included to ensure aircraft survivability in hostile air defence environment.

In addition, these aircraft will have refuelling probes, advance radar warning receivers and counter measure dispensing system for extended range and additional safety.

India is also planning to place orders for six more similar aircraft and likely to send a Letter of Request to the US Government in this regard in near future.

Tags:

Air Force  C-130J  India  

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