Recently, the Indian Air Force landed its Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport plane on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
This week, another C-130J aircraft took off with a contingent of IAF Garud commandoes to participate in a multilateral military-exercise in Israel.
The aircraft has emerged as a robustly dependable IAF workhorse to transport disaster relief, troops, and supplies, wherever needed.
Let’s know more about it.
There’s no mission the C-130 can’t do ::
The C-130 first flew in 1954 and was developed for the US military for a transport role.
Its design is so robust and versatile that it’s been used to refuel fighter jets, drop bombs, para-drop soldiers, retrieve satellites in midair and more.
It has flown in conflict zones from Vietnam to Afghanistan, on both poles, the Himalayas and landed on unpaved runways and beaches.
India’s tryst with the C-130J ::
India first ordered six C-130J Super Hercules planes in 2008 at a cost of $1 billion which were delivered and stationed at the Hindon airbase in UP.
It subsequently ordered six additional C-130s which are now being inducted and stationed at Arjan Singh Airbase in Panagarh, West Bengal.
Last year, one IAF C-130 crashed during a low-level sortie, killing five personnel onboard.
Why the IAF loves the C-130?
In 2013, the IAF had landed a C-130J at one of the world’s highest landing ground in Daulat Beg Oldie, northern Ladakh.
The same year, the aircraft led supply ran for relief materials in flood-hit northern India.
In 2014, it transported rescued civilians and humanitarian supplies during the Kashmir floods.
In 2016, the planes were even used to ferry cash post demonetization.
C-130 will play “very important role” in future conflict ::
Last month, Air Vice Marshal Vikram Singh said the “state-of-the-art” C-130 Super Hercules “with its tactical airlift and airdrop capabilities is a huge jump” for the IAF.
“In any future conflict, it will play a very important role,” he added.
The six C-130s being deployed in Panagarh will enhance the mobility of Indian Army’s Mountain Strike Corps along the Sino-Indian border.
Source Link: CLICK HERE