Contract for six more C-130JS near
In a delight for the IAF, a contract for six more Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft is near with the draft follow-on contract approved by both sides. The newly contracted aircraft will also join the 77 ‘ Veiled Vipers’ Squadron at Hindon.
IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, who has in the past extolled the virtues of the Super Herc in Indian service – and also indicated that early deliveries had allowed the IAF to save cost on the follow-on package to the tune of $80-million – said recently that a contract would be concluded shortly with the US Government in a follow-on foreign military sale (FMS) contract. The C-130s began operational use with the Sikkim earthquake in September last year, and their legs have been stretched by pilots with visits to Car Nicobar and other remote parts of the country.
The aircraft have also been an integral part of exercises through the year, notably the Shoor Veer exercise in May this year. A modified version of the C-130J called the ‘Sea Hercules’ will participate in the Indian Navy’s medium-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft competition.