Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Indian Air Force`s (IAF) newly-acquired C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which crashed near Gwalior on Friday is considered to be one of the most modern aircraft - configured for special operations and airborne assault.
Five armed forces personnel were killed when the C-130J transport aircraft crashed an hour after taking off from Agra airbase for an exercise. The `Black Box` of the aircraft has been recovered and is being analysed to assess the reason for the crash.
The C-130J aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin is fitted with four Rolls Royce engines and can operate out of 2,000 foot-long dirt strips in high mountain ranges.
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy airlifters, which are being used by 70 countries can operate in extreme climates, transport large payloads across vast distances and land on short, austere runways - and even reverse.
In recent times, the IAF`s C-130J Super Hercules medium-lift aircraft had landed at the highest airstrip in the world - the Daulat Beg Oldie in Ladakh close to the Chinese border.
India bought the six aircraft in January 2008 for USD 1.2 billion and the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, began deliveries in January 2011. The six aircraft were based at the Hindon air base in Ghaziabad near the national capital from February, 2011.
The C-130J, which has boosted airlift capacities of the IAF has the ability to touch speeds of 700 km.p.h.
The C-17s has helped India`s plan in a big way to strengthen its capabilities along the disputed border with China.
India had recently inducted six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which were bought from the US at the cost of around Rs 6,000 crore (USD 1.1 billion) four years ago.