Thursday, April 1, 2010

Indian Air Force Set for Paradigm Shift with C-130J Super Hercules Airlifter

In just about a year the Indian Air Force (IAF) will begin receiving the first of six C-130J Super Hercules airlifters it has purchased for $1 billion, the aircraft signaling a paradigm shift in the manner in which the armed forces train for specialised operations.For the first time, the IAF will be able to conduct precision low-level flying operations, airdrops and landings in blackout conditions as the aircraft will be equipped with an infrared detection set (IDS).That is when the IAF will gets first look at the aircraft. After flight tests and other trials, the aircraft will be handed over in the first quarter of 2011,' Jack Crisler, director of the C-130J programme, told a group of visiting Indian journalists, adding that the sixth aircraft was scheduled for delivery by the end of 2011.The C-130J primarily performs the tactical portion of an airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.Meanwhile, the first of the 18 IAF crews that will be trained on the C-130J will arrive here in October. 'We are planning to train 18 crews in three years,' Crisler said.'So advanced is the simulator that a pilot can literally walk from it to the aircraft,' Crisler pointed out. ..........................Source

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