The Indian air force's first of six Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports will be handed over to the US Air Force on 16 December, ahead of its delivery to the nation in late January.
To be based as Hindon air base, New Delhi's first US-built military aircraft will make its public debut at the Aero India air show in Bangalore in early February, says Abhay Paranjape, Lockheed's director, C-130J India.
India's first three stretched-fuselage Hercules are involved in pre-delivery testing at Lockheed's Marietta site in Georgia, with the second to also be signed over to the USAF during December and flown to Hindon in late February. The nation's other three aircraft are on the final assembly line in Marietta.
© Lockheed Martin
India's first C-130J made its first flight in October
Lockheed is to train the first batch of Indian air force pilots on the C-130J, following their receipt of initial instruction provided by the USAF at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. The company will also train combat system operators and maintainers, and also deliver a three-year package of maintenance, support and sustainment for the C-130J for its first Asian customer for the type.
Meanwhile, Lockheed expects New Delhi to issue a formal letter of request for a second batch of six C-130Js early next year, potentially around the Aero India show.