Con­tract for six more C-130JS near

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

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.

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