first Super Hercules plane takes to the skies
The first of India's six C-130J Super Hercules airlifters,
considered the world's most advanced transport aircraft, has
completed its maiden flight.
The first Super Hercules that donned Indian Air Force (IAF)
colours in June took to the »
Washington: The first
of India's six C-130J Super Hercules airlifters, considered the
world's most advanced transport aircraft, purchased from the US in
a $1 billion deal has been delivered to the Indian Air Force.
The first plane was received at a ceremony at manufacturer
Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Georgia, facility Thursday by the
Indian Defence & Military Attache Brigadier Bhupesh Kumar Jain and
Air Attache Air Commodore J.S. Walia.
"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
"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."
Two of the planes will be flown to India in early 2011, while two
more will arrive in early summer and the last two will be
delivered in late summer of 2011.
Two other aircraft are in flight test prior to deliveries and
three more have now reached the final production positions at the
Lockheed Martin Marietta facility.
India's six stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s would provide the Indian
Army and Indian Air Force "new special operations capabilities
using the world's most advanced airlifter", according to Lockheed.
Equipped with India-unique operational equipment, including an
infrared detection set (IDS), the aircraft for the first time will
provide the IAF an ability to conduct precision low-level flying
operations, airdrops and landings in blackout conditions.
The C-130J primarily performs the tactical portion of an airlift
mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt
strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and
equipment into hostile areas.
The flexible design of the Super Hercules enables it to be
configured for many different missions, allowing for one aircraft
to perform the role of many. Much of the special mission equipment
added to the Super Hercules is removable, allowing the aircraft to
quickly switch between roles.
The C-130J Super Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military
transport aircraft, is a comprehensive update of the venerable
Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other
The aircraft can also be configured with the "enhanced cargo
handling system". The system consists of a computerised
loadmaster's station from where the user can remotely control the
under floor winch.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)