Washington: The first of the six state-of-the art C-130J military transport aircraft would be delivered to India on December 16, its manufacturer Lockheed Martin said on Friday.
India has placed orders for six of these aircrafts.
"The first C-130J for India will be formally delivered on December 16 at a ceremony in Marietta," Lockheed Martin said in a statement.
"Two 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," it said.
Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said on Wednesday that in conjunction with the purchase of six C-130J transport aircraft in 2008 the recent USD 4.1 billion C-17 Indian deal with Boeing will double US-India defense trade and provide the Indian Air Force a strategic airlift and humanitarian response capability that is unique to the region and emblematic of India`s ambitions to play an increasingly global role.
"Once all the aircraft have been delivered, ladies and gentlemen, India will have the second largest C-17 fleet in the world behind the US - a highly visible manifestation of
the US-India defense partnership," Blake 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 Indian Air Force`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 the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Denmark, 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 refuelling capability for extended range operations.
Lockheed Martin will integrate this equipment andother 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.