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Lockheed Martin prepares to deliver India’s C-130J Super Hercules aircraft amidst controversy

India′s order for six C-130J stretch Super Hercules transports is fast approaching completion. KC-3804, KC-3805, and KC-3806 the final three C-130Js have now reached their final production positions at the Lockheed Martin Marietta facility.

India’s C-130J Super Hercules on the Lockheed Martin production line

This news comes as the Business Standard newspaper reports a growing controversy at India’s Ministry of Defence viewing the company as flouting India’s offsets norms.

Signed back in 2007, the $962 million Super Hercules contract was the first major defence deal between India and United States. These aircraft are expected to be used by the special forces of India like the Black Cats, and will be equipped with a Forward Looking Infra-red (FLIR) AAQ-22 Star Safire III sensor turret which permits operations in complete darkness as well as an in-flight refuelling probe.

These aircraft will join the first three, which are already in flight test prior to deliveries that will begin later this month.

The first C-130J KC-3801 will be formally delivered on Thursday, December 16 at a ceremony in Marietta, Georgia, USA.

Two aircraft will be flown to India in early 2011, two more will arrive in early summer 2011, with the last two being delivered in late summer of 2011.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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