IAF's first C-130J-30 Super Hercules ready for flight test

Washington: The first of six C-130J-30 Super Hercules on order for the Indian Air Force is ready for a flight test after emerging from the paint shop at the Lockheed Martin's Marietta plant in Georgia, the American manufacturer said Friday. The six aircraft were ordered by the IAF in 2008 and this was the first billion dollar contract secured by any American defence supplier in India in decades.

The first C-130J Super Hercules in IAF colours

''The aircraft now enters flight test in preparation for delivery at the end of the year,'' Lockheed says. ''The six C-130Js will give the Indian army and air force new special operations capabilities.''

The six C-130J-30s will cost the IAF $1.059 billion.

The stretched-fuselage C-130J-30 will be delivered to the IAF in approximately six months time.

The lead aircraft is shown carrying the registration KC-3801 beneath its wing.

The programme for India includes training of aircrew and maintenance technicians, spare parts, and ground support and test equipment.

Also included is India-specific operational equipment designed to increase special operations capabilities.