India gets first of six Super Hercules airlifters

India gets first of six Super Hercules airlifters

The first plane was received at a ceremony at manufacturer Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Georgia, facility Thursday by the Indian Defence & Military Attaché Brigadier Bhupesh Kumar Jain and Air Attaché Air Commodore J.S.  Walia.

"There are few mottos that impart such passion as that of the Indian Air Force, which is 'Touch the Sky With Glory'," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin's vice president for C-130 Programmes.

"Today begins a new glorious, enduring partnership with India as the fourth largest air force in the world proudly joins the worldwide C-130 family."

Two of the planes 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.

Two other aircraft are in flight test prior to deliveries and three more  have now reached the final production positions at the Lockheed Martin  Marietta facility.

India's six stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s would provide the Indian Army and Indian Air Force "new special operations capabilities using the world's most advanced airlifter", according to Lockheed.

Equipped with India-unique operational equipment, including an infrared detection set (IDS), the aircraft for the first time will provide the IAF an ability to conduct precision low-level flying operations, airdrops and landings in blackout conditions.

The C-130J primarily performs the tactical portion of an airlift mission.  The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.

The flexible design of the Super Hercules enables it to be configured for many different missions, allowing for one aircraft to perform the role of many. Much of the special mission equipment added to the Super Hercules is removable, allowing the aircraft to quickly switch between roles.

The C-130J Super Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft, is a comprehensive update of the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems.

The aircraft can also be configured with the "enhanced cargo handling system". The system consists of a computerised loadmaster's station from where the user can remotely control the under floor winch.

 

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