India to buy six more C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ aircraft
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister A K Antony has given approval for the purchase of 6 more C-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft from the US in a deal worth over Rs 4,000 crore. It will now need a final approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security.
The DAC also gave nod for placing an order for 235 T-90 tanks worth Rs 6,000 crore with the Ordnance Factory Board. These battle tanks would be manufactured under the Transfer-of-Technology agreement India has inked with Russia.
The Indian Air Force already has six C-130J planes which are deployed at its Hindon airbase. The new lot of six planes will be positioned at Panagarh in West Bengal, which would be headquarters of the proposed Mountain Strike Corps of the army along the China border.
Factbox: C-130J ‘Super Hercules’
- Manufactured by the United States.
- World’s most advanced and tactical aircraft.
- Primarily designed to support India’s special operations requirement.
- Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the aircraft can perform 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. The aircraft also is equipped with air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations.
- Ideally suited to India’s mission environment, which often involves operating out of austere, high-elevation airstrips in hot conditions.
- Powered by four Rolls Royce AE2100 engines and Dowty six bladed props which provide the aircraft with tremendous power.
- The aircraft has already demonstrated its responsiveness during the recent Uttarakhand flood disaster and 2012 Sikkim earthquake where it played a major role in relief operations.
- The aircraft demonstrated its agility when IAF landed it at the world’s highest airstrip in Daulat Beg Oldi, in J&K, the place where Indian and Chinese troops had a stand-off recently.