The Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive the first of six C-130J Super Hercules airlifters from the US this week under a $950m deal signed in 2008.

The C-130J will be flown into Hindon Air Base, Ghaziabad, India, as part of its formal induction in February.

The four-engined C-130J will be used by the IAF for transporting special forces for strategic operations and to enhance Indian forces’ special missions capability.

The IAF will receive a unique C-130J configuration modified for special mission roles that will be able to perform precision low-level flying, air drops and landing in blackout conditions.

The C-130J will include refuelling probes, advance radar warning receivers and a countermeasures dispensing system for extended range and additional safety, according to the Economic Times.

The other five aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2011.