New Delhi has moved closer to finalising an order for a batch of six additional Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules tactical transports for the Indian air force, following approval by the nation’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
The decision – taken on 13 September by the DAC, headed by defence minister A K Antony – to approve the purchase will now need final ratification from the government’s Cabinet Committee on Security.
India had submitted a letter of request to the USA for the purchase of additional C-130Js in September 2012, and received clearance from the US administration in April 2013.
The C-130Js will be purchased through the Foreign Military Sales route, as was the case for a first batch of six aircraft. The new transports will be based at Panagarh in India’s eastern state of West Bengal.
Indian air force
The six aircraft from the initial 2008 order are now in operation with the service’s 77 Sqn from Hindon air base.