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IAF touchdown drill on Agra Expressway

IAF touchdown drill on Agra Expressway
Highlights

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday kicked off its major touchdown exercise with a C-130 Hercules landing on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday kicked off its major touchdown exercise with a C-130 Hercules landing on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

Soon, three Jaguar aircraft touched down on the expressway. In all, 20 aircraft, including AN-32, Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi MKI, took part in the three-hour drill.

This is the first time that a transport aircraft (AN-32) lands and takes off from this highway, an official said. The heavy-duty C-130 Hercules, the 35,000-kg transport aircraft, made an
assault landing with Garud commandos.

These commandos will be extricated from the same spot when the C-130 will make a landing for the second time. The jets included three Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, two formations of three aircraft each of Mirage 2000s and two formations of three aircraft each of Sukhoi-30.

Here are details of the aircraft involved in the exercise: C 130J Super Hercules

The aircraft, powered by four Rolls Royce engines, can be used for a variety of missions such as special operations, combat delivery, peacekeeping, low intensity conflict, search and rescue, disaster relief and humanitarian missions.

Mirage 2000: The aircraft was inducted into the IAF in the mid-80s and has proven its sound flight safety record. A Mirage 2000 can fly from Gwalior to Delhi in less than 15 minutes.

Su-30 MKI: The IAF has contracted 272 Su-30 MKI fighter planes out of which nearly 240 have been delivered. The remaining 32 fighters are likely to be inducted over the next three years. The first 50 jets came in ready from Russia, the remaining were and are being built under licence by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Seven Su-30 jets have crashed since 2009, while one is still listed as missing. The IAF inducted its first Su-30 fighter at the Lohegaon air base in Pune in June 1997.

Jaguar: The Jaguars are deep strike fighter planes, capable of carrying nuclear payload. These aircrafts were developed by HAL under license in India. It was retired from the British Royal Air Force in 2007 and from French Armee de I’Air in 2005 but is still being used by the IAF.

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