In­dia signs deal for six more C-130Js

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE -

The In­dian Govern­ment has fi­nally signed on the dot­ted line for six more Lock­heed Martin C-130J Su­per Her­cules spe­cial mis­sion trans­port air­craft. The six planes, which will be­gin de­liv­ery in 36 months, will be based at Pana­garh in West Ben­gal. As ear­lier re­ported by SP’s M.A.I., it has taken the govern­ment over two years to process the fol­low-on or­der, which has been in the pipe­line since the first deal was signed. For for­mer IAF Chief N.A.K. Browne, the deal go­ing through just days be­fore he re­tired is for­tu­itous, given that it was un­der his ste­ward­ship that de­liv­er­ies of the air­craft com­menced. In the past, Brown has re­vealed that the six new air­craft will come with mi­nor mod­i­fi­ca­tions, though it is not clear at this time what these are. Over­all con­fig­u­ra­tion of the air­craft will be iden­ti­cal to the first six, de­ployed with 77 Squadron Veiled Vipers at the Hin­don Air Force Sta­tion. The for­eign mil­i­tary sales (FMS) deal, worth just un­der $1.1 bil­lion, will give the IAF a fleet of 12 air­craft, though Lock­heed Martin has in­ter­nally as­sessed an IAF re­quire­ment of at least 30 air­craft. The com­pany is said to be work­ing on mak­ing an­other of­fer for more air­craft to sup­ple­ment the units in the cur­rent and fu­ture squadron.

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