Agra-Lucknow Expressway: After a C-130J Super Hercules drops Garud commandos, a Mirage 2000 lands
Planes of the Indian Air Force or IAF performed touch-and-go landings
on a stretch of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway today, starting with a 35,000-kg C-130J Super Hercules aircraft that dropped special forces commandos to secure the landing zone as part of the special drill for the fighter jets that followed. This is the first time that the C-130J transport aircraft joined the Indian Air Force's special drill to land planes on the expressway. The IAF had earlier landed its Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets on the Yamuna Expressway and the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. Several countries allow their air force to practice landing on and taking off from large highways in order to ensure air operations continue even when an airbase has been knocked out by enemy forces or natural disaster.
Here are the live updates of the special Indian Air Force drill:
Sukhoi-30MKI Performs Touch-And-Go On Agra-Lucknow Expressway
A Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet of the Indian Air Force takes off from a stretch of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway after briefly touch the tarmac in a special drill. The fighter jets are being 'protected' by IAF's own special forces called the Garuds.
The commandos were inserted by C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft before the jet fighters came.
'Unique Exercise': IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal SB Deo
"What is unique... is that we are also landing transport aircraft, the C-130 which is special operations aircraft," IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal SB Deo said on the sidelines of an event in Delhi ahead of the exercise.
Sukhoi-30MKIs, Mirage 2000s Perform Touch-And-Go
Fighter jets including the top-of-the-line Sukhoi-30MKIs and Mirage 2000s won't, however, come to a full stop, but will instead take off after touching down on the airstrip.
The three-hour long exercise simulates an emergency situation when airbases, the first target of bombs and missiles, won't be available for air operations, necessitating use of highways as landing strips.
Super Hercules' First Landing On An Expressway
This is the first time a transport aircraft - a Super Hercules, which can carry 200 commandos - is landing on an expressway.
Inducted into the air force in 2010, each plane costs nearly Rs 900 crore.
The Garuds Are On The Ground
The C-130J Super Hercules aircraft of the Indian Air Force has landed on Agra-Lucknow Expressway and the IAF's Garud commandos have taken position.
Past Landings On Expressways
IAF fighter planes, Mirage-2000 fighters and Sukhoi-30, have twice landed on expressways in Uttar Pradesh. The first was in 2015 when a Mirage-2000 landed on the Yamuna expressway near Delhi.
Jaguar, Mirage 2000 And Sukhoi-30MKI To Land
Three Jaguar deep-penetration strike aircraft will be the first to land, followed up by six Mirage 2000 aircraft flying in two formations and then, two more formations of three aircraft each of Sukhoi-30MKI.
IAF Commandos In Action
Once the Indian Air Force's Special Forces Garud commandos get off the C-130J transport aircraft with their vehicle, they will take positions on either side of the expressway to secure "their airstrip" for the fighter aircrafts.