PICTURES: Lockheed flies India's first C-130J

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India's first US-built military transport has made its debut flight, with the Lockheed Martin C-130J having taken to the air from Marietta, Georgia on 4 October.

The first of six stretched-fuselage Hercules on order for the Indian air force, aircraft KC-3801 will be followed by two more examples getting airborne "within the next few weeks", Lockheed says.

 

Both images © Lockheed Martin

Lockheed says the production test flight lasted around 2h and included an initial shakedown of all aircraft systems. "The aircraft will now complete a series of company and customer flight tests prior to delivery in December," it adds.

New Delhi signed a contract for its new tactical transports in 2007. The aircraft will feature equipment including an in-flight refuelling probe and a FLIR Systems AAQ-22 Star Safire III electro-optical/infrared sensor turret.

 
© Lockheed Martin

The Indian air force is also hoping to close a deal later this year for a proposed fleet of 10 Boeing C-17 strategic transports. The manufacturer has already signed a contract to equip the Indian navy with eight of its Boeing 737-based P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.