IAF flies commando plane fleet, displays operational fitness
New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) In a display of its operational readiness and air power, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has flown six of its planes meant for inserting commandos for special operations all at once, indicating the fleet is 100 percent serviceable.
The C-130J fleet, inducted in the 77 'Veiled Vipers' squadron of the IAF, took to the skies simultaneously from its home base at Hindon in Ghaziabad on the outskirts of the national capital last week, according to an officer in the IAF headquarters here.
"The six planes flew for about an hour and returned to the base," an officer said.
The C-130J, capable of carrying 92 paratroopers with their gear or 128 fully equipped combat troops, was inducted in February 2011. The six planes were ordered by India from the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin in 2008 and the first plane was delivered to the IAF in December 2010.
"The six-aircraft fleet was carrying out the tactical flying operation, as part of its training. It was to display that all the six C-130J can be flown out to carry about a battalion-strength troops if necessary," the officer said.
The aircraft is capable of doing low-level flying undetected to assist in covert missions. It can land on all sorts of airstrip surfaces.
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