Indian Air Force’s C-130J Super Hercules crashes killing five

Media reports say one of the six new C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force, bought just two years ago, has crashed about 72 miles west of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh after having taken off from Agra in Uttar Pradesh around 10:00 IST.

The C-130J is part of the six aircraft order that India procured from the U.S. Government, for which deliveries commenced in December 2010. All six aircraft have been since delivered. See high resolution photos of the first flight here.

The tactical air transporter is based at Air Force Station Hindon near the capital New Delhi, with the newly raised 77 Squadron IAF named ‘Veiled Vipers’, and is used by the special forces, including the famous NSG Black Cats. The squadron’s motto “Kill with Stealth”, signifies the all-weather, stealthy ‘black-ops’ mission capabilities in deploying the special forces to deal with many varieties of threats. India has realised the capabilities of this great aircraft and is ordering another six.

One of the C-130J was being used in the recent search for the missing, presumed crashed, Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. The ‘Herc’ showed off its special capabilities when it landed at the highest airstrip in the world at the remote landing ground at Daulat Beg Oldie near the border with China and Pakistan (see pictures here).

The Indian Air Force has placed a repeat order worth $1.2 billion (about Rs. 7,500 Crores) for six more C-130J-30 stretched Super Hercules aircraft with the United States. The order is believed to include Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 engines, AN/ALR-56M radar warning systems, AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III suites for special operations use, AN/AAR-47 missile warning system, AN/ALE-47 chaff and flare counter-measure dispensers besides other communications equipment and services.

The multi-role aircraft is popular with the uniformed services of many nations across the world, and is used in multiples of roles. Bangalore Aviation had captured the C-130 of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) when it had transited Bangalore. (Read the story with pictures here).

Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules (L-382). Tail 731 (cn 4844)
Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules (L-382). Tail 731 (cn 4844)

Our condolences to the bereaved families.

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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