Wednesday, June 2, 2010

India To Get First C-130J This Year

Jun 01 , 2010


Delivery of the first of six C-130J airlifters to the Indian Air Force will occur later this year, Lockheed Martin says.

The IAF has also identified a group of pilots to receive training at Lockheed Martin facilities before the delivery.

India is to receive six C-130Js for Special Services, with an additional option for six more. The aircraft will undergo flights trials in India before being inducted into the IAF, sources said. It will likely be based at Hindon Air Force Station, and work on permanent hangars is in full swing. The aircraft’s assembly line is in Marietta, Ga.

“The order includes three years of initial support, training of air crew 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 the three-year initial support period. Also included is operational equipment designed to increase Special Operations capabilities,” a statement says.

The configuration offered to India includes a stretch-version with an air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations, an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the ability to perform precision low-level flying, airdrops and landing in blackout conditions, and self-protection systems.

The C-130J carries eight 463L pallets, 97 medical litters, 24 CDS bundles, 128 combat troops and 92 paratroops.

The C-130J’s mission flexibility has also sparked interest from India’s Border Security Force, Coast Guard and Meteorology Department, Lockheed Martin says.

The program’s offset requirements amount to around $300 million.

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