The US has accepted India's request for supplying six more C-130J special operations transport aircraft to the IAF and a communication in this regard was given to the Defence Ministry recently.
India had sent a Letter of Request (LoR) to the US government in September last year for procuring six additional C-130J aircraft.
The US government submitted a Letter of Acceptance on April 10 to the Indian Defence Ministry for clearance. Like the first six aircraft, the additional six were also being acquired through foreign military sales (FMS) route, Lockheed Martin officials told PTI here.
India had signed a deal worth $ one billion with the US in 2007 for six aircraft which are deployed at the Hindon air base near here. The deal for the additional six aircraft is also expected to be around $ one billion.
Commenting on the development, Lockheed Martin's India head Roger Rose said, "The C-130Js, which were delivered ahead of schedule and within budget, have performed well for the Indian Air Force (IAF)."
"Lockheed Martin looks forward to continuing our disciplined programme performance by supporting the first six and any additional aircraft the Government of India may order," he added.
The IAF has decided to deploy the additional six aircraft at its base in Panagarh in West Bengal to take care of the requirements of formations deployed in the northeast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The aircraft will also be used by the Special Forces to carry out operations or rapid deployment in case of incidents such as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The Economic Times