Induction of C-130J in Indian Armed Forces

Lockheed Martin C-130J "Super" Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft.

  • This is also India’s first acquisition from the US through the foreign military sales route in decades. Recently, it arrived to India at the Hindon airbase ahead of its formal induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the first week of February.

It’s worth note that Indian Air Force had purchased six C-130J-30s in early 2008 at a cost of up to US$1.059 billion.

  • It was a package deal with the US government under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, and India has options to buy six more of these aircraft for its special forces for combined army-air force operations.
  • However, India has said that it will not sign the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).
  • So the US has not included high precision GPS and other sensitive equipment coming under CISMOA.
  • But the Indian Air Force has the option to customize the same by adding similar equipment to the aircraft developed indigenously or procured from other sources.

So, the C-130J Super Hercules airlifter that IAF will operate for Indian armed forces’ special operations, will not be the same as the US Air Force’s (USAF) in view of India not having signed a crucial communication interoperability agreement with the US.

  • The new aircraft will enhance the Indian special forces’ reach for their specialist operations behind enemy lines. As per the 2008 deal, other five aircraft are scheduled for delivery to the IAF one after the other by the end of this year.

The four-engine aircraft, powered by the Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprop, has a maximum cruise speed of 355 knots or 660 kmph. The maximum takeoff weight if 75,390 kg and it can carry a maximum payload of 21,770 kg.

  • Indian Air Force (IAF) has now inducted C-130J-30 Super Hercules airlifter to boost its special operations capability, but the aircraft is without critical equipment.

We have our own communication system and yes, we will be integrating them on the aircraft, this was quoted by IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik at its induction.

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