Marietta (Georgia), Dec 17 (ANI): Lockheed Martin Corporation delivered the first of six 'C-130J Super Hercules' for the Indian Air Force here on Friday.
The 1.2 billion dollars new fleet was ordered in late 2008, and was the first US Foreign Military sale to India in many years.
"There are few mottos that impart such passion as that of the Indian Air Force, which is 'Touch the Sky With Glory'. Today begins a new glorious, enduring partnership with India as the fourth largest air force in the world proudly joins the worldwide C-130 family," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin's Vice President for C-130 Programs.
This is India's first experience with the C-130 so the package being provided by the U.S. government is comprehensive.
The contract includes six aircraft, training of aircrew and maintenance technicians, spares, ground support and test equipment, servicing carts, forklifts, loading vehicles, cargo pallets and a team of technical specialists who will be based in India during a three-year initial support period.
The package also includes India-unique operational equipment designed to increase 'Special Operations' capabilities. The first two C-130Js will be flown to India early next year, followed by the remaining four aircraft deliveries later in 2011.
India's new airlift fleet will be based at Hindon Air Force Station.
The Indian Air Force's C-130J Super Hercules is a highly integrated and sophisticated configuration primarily designed to support India's special operations requirement. Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the aircraft can perform precision low-level flying, airdrops and landing in blackout conditions.
Self-protection systems and other features are included to ensure aircraft survivability in hostile air defense environments. The aircraft is also equipped with air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations.
The C-130J is ideally suited to India's mission environment, which often involves operating out of austere, high-elevation airstrips in hot conditions. The C-130J is powered by four Rolls Royce AE2100 engines and Dowty six bladed props, which provide the aircraft with tremendous power.
The C-130J has been operating for the past several years in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan in conditions similar to India and performed exceptionally well.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 133,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
The Corporation's 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.0 billion. (ANI)