Two years after it made a grand public entry at Aero India, special operations aircraft C-130 J Super Hercules has come a long way, proving its worth during the earthquake that ravaged Sikkim in late 2011.

The special operations squadron at Hindon, near Delhi, has six aircraft, with an additional six in line for induction in the eastern sector. “With its phenomenal range of 4,500 miles without refuelling, and role versatility, ours is the best tactical air operations platform available,” said Wing Commander Saurabh Singh, an instructor on the Super Hercules.

Parked behind him is the transport platform that flaunts an array of capabilities. At a distance stands the C-17 Globemaster, which provides strategic lift from one theatre of military operation to another. The Indian Air Force is currently inducting the platform.

For swift response, Super Hercules always carries on board equipment needed to perform its multifarious roles, says Wg.Cdr. Singh. It is capable of performing accurate deployment of paratroopers. With a carrying capacity of 20 tonnes, it can also airdrop loads with immaculate precision. The aircraft comes with a range of systems for self-protection.

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