Marietta, Oct 6 (ANI): The first of six C-130J Super Hercules made for the Indian Air Force took to the skies for its maiden flight on Tuesday at Marietta in Georgia.
To provide the Indian armed forces new special operations capabilities using the world's most advanced airlifter, India has purchased six stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s from the US in a billion dollar deal.
The aircraft will now complete a series of company and customer flight tests prior to coming to India in December.
The first Super Hercules that donned Indian Air Force (IAF) colours in June took to the skies for its maiden flight.
"The aircraft will now complete a series of company and customer flight tests prior to delivery in December. The second and third aircraft are due to fly within the next few weeks," said a Lockheed Martin release.
Equipped with India-unique operational equipment, including an infrared detection set (IDS), the aircraft for the first time will provide the IAF an ability to conduct precision low-level flying operations, airdrops and landings in blackout conditions.
To ensure 80 percent availability of the aircraft at any given time, Lockheed Martin has offered a long-term maintenance contract to the IAF.
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.
The C-130J Super Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft, is a comprehensive update of the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. (ANI)