New Delhi: Strengthening the special
operations capability of Indian Air Force, four of the six
C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft procured from the
US under a USD 970-million deal will join the fleet by month
"Two aircraft are already here at the Hindon air base
near here and two more would be joining our fleet by the end
of this month," 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
year and it was inducted into the IAF in February.
The aircraft will considerably enhance IAF`s special
missions capability and 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 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.
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
The aircraft will be able to perform precision low-
level flying 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.