The first of six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft was handed over to the Indian Air Force today, at Marietta in Georgia in the United States.
According to a statement issued by the manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the total contract, concluded in 2008, is worth a little under US $1.2 billion and is India’s first purchase under the US Foreign Military Sale (FMS) regime.
The statement says that since this is ‘India’s first experience with the C-130 so the package being provided by the US government is comprehensive’. The statement lists the contract to include 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,” it says.
The company says the first two C-130Js will be flown to India early next year and will be followed by the remaining four aircraft deliveries by the end of the year. The aircraft will be based at Hindon Air Force Station, near New Delhi.
The IAF’s C-130J Super Hercules powered by four Rolls Royce AE2100 engines and Dowty six bladed props and comes equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations. The aircraft is also capable of performing 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 defense environments,” says the statement.