(NSI News Source Info) MARIETTA, Ga., - June 29, 2010: The first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] C-130J Super Hercules for India has completed painting at the company's Marietta, Ga., facility. The aircraft now enters flight test in preparation for delivery at the end of the year. The program for India includes six C-130Js, training of aircrew and maintenance technicians, spare parts, and ground support and test equipment. Also included is India-unique operational equipment designed to increase Special Operations capabilities.
DTN News reports, in May 2006, India Defence quoted Air Chief S.P. Tyagi saying that “the IAF is planning to buy C-130J planes” for its special forces and Border Security Forces. Reports indicate that the IAF is particularly attracted to the C-130J’s ability to land and take off even in improvised or short airfields, and without lights. Those characteristics have served the Hercules well in other anti-terrorism scenarios like Operation Yonatan in Entebbe, and are now more routine maneuvers thanks to the C-130J Hercules’ modern avionics and increased engine power. the ‘J’ model performs well in “hot and high” conditions which can reduce the useful load of older Hercules or similar transport aircraft by 50-60%.
The Indian Air Force purchased six C-130J-30s in early 2008 at a cost of up to US$1.059 billion. It is a package deal with the US government under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, and India has retained options to buy six more of these aircraft for its special forces for combined army-air force operations.