Indian Air Force Celebrates Induction Of First C-130J Super Hercules
MARIETTA, Ga., 02/07/2011 --
India's Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik (left), presents General Norton Schwartz, United States Chief of Staff of the Air Force, with a commemorative plaque during the induction ceremony of the first C-130J for India at Hindon Air Force Station.
The aircraft is the first of six C-130Js ordered under a U.S. Foreign Military Sale in late 2008. Senior representatives from the Indian and U.S. governments and air forces were present for the historic event.
"The Indian Air Force is happy to induct the C-130J Super Hercules, the most potent and versatile aircraft in its class," said Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, IAF Chief of Air Staff. "It is an important milestone in transformation of the IAF that is presently underway. The IAF will fly an American aircraft after a gap of more than two decades after the Super Connie, and it is a historic moment for both countries." The last U.S. aircraft flown by the IAF was a Lockheed Super Constellation, a type retired from the country's fleet more than two decades ago.
This is India's first experience with the C-130 so the package being provided by the U.S. government is comprehensive. The contact 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. The remaining five aircraft will be delivered later this year.
|India's Defence Minister, Shri A K Antony and India's Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, seen with the initial cadre of Indian Air Force C-130J crews at the induction ceremony of the first C-130J for India at Hindon Air Force Station.|
The C-130J is ideally suited to India's mission environment, which often involves operating out of austere, high elevation airstrips in hot conditions. The C-130J is powered by four Rolls Royce AE2100 engines and Dowty six-bladed props that provide the aircraft with significant power. The C-130J has been operated for the past several years in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan in conditions similar to India and performed exceptionally well.
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