Defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin has recently announced that they will soon deliver six new C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force. The original order for these aircraft was placed back in 2013, and final delivery will like take place during the first half of 2017.
In order to accommodate the new batch of C-130J aircraft, the Indian Air Force will being preparing a second hub and runway in West Bengal’s Panagarh. The Indian Air-force will begin operating the C-130J as soon as next month, and many believe they will have a dedicated Super Hercules unit within a year.
The C-130J is a four engine military transport aircraft, and it is essentially an updated version of the original C-130. With its large wide body design and four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engines, the C-130J is capable of transporting over 40,000 pounds of troops, passengers, pallets, medical supplies, and even Humvees. Its maximum speed is over 360 knots, its maximum range is over 2000 nautical miles, and its max payload service ceiling is around 28,000 feet. Since 1999, Lockheed has delivered over 300 C-130Js to fifteen different nations. The most prominent C-130J customers include the US Air Force, the US Marine Core, the Italian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force. Lockheed has also delivered specialized civilian use C-130J aircraft for applications such as firefighting and emergency rescues.
Even after 60 years of service, the C-130 family continues to be an essential cog in both military and civilian operations around the world. As such, customers continue to place new orders for C-130Js, so look for even more aircraft to be delivered in the years to come.