The Indian Air Force is seeking to acquire six new Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules tactical transports, which would double its fleet to 12. India received its sixth C-130J last month.
On October 26 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSC) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale of six C-130Js and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of US$1.2 billion.
Other equipment in the deal includes six Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 spare engines, eight AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems (two of them spares), eight AN/ALR-56M Advanced Radar Warning Receivers (two of them spares), eight AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing Systems (two of them spares), eight AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III Special Operations Suites (two of them spares), eight ARC-210 Radios (Non-COMSEC), and 3200 Flare Cartridges.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important partner and to strengthen the U.S.-India strategic relationship,” the DSCA said.
“The proposed sale will provide the Indian Government with a credible special operations airlift capability that will help deter aggression in the region and provide enhanced humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support.”
The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Marietta, Georgia, and Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana. Offset agreements associated with this proposed sale are expected, but at this time the specific offset agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractors, the DSCA noted. The deal may be finalised as soon as January next year.
India ordered six C-130Js under a U.S. Foreign Military Sale in late 2008. The Indian Air Force formally inducted its first C-130J into service at Hindon Air Force Station on February 5. The type was introduced into service by India’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik and US Chief of the Air Force General Norton Schwartz.
Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), India’s C-130Js 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 defence environments. The aircraft also is equipped with air-to-air receiver refuelling capability for extended range operations.
The C-130J is powered by four Rolls Royce AE2100 engines and Dowty six-bladed props that provide the aircraft with significant power. The C-130J has been operated for the past several years in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan in conditions similar to India and performed exceptionally well.