The Indian Air Force (IAF) will officially induct its first C-130 J Hercules transport aircraft into the fleet on 5 February at the Hindan air base.

The aircraft is expected to enhance IAF special missions capability and will be able to perform precision low-level flying, air drops and landing in blackout conditions.

Handed over to the IAF in mid-December 2010, the aircraft will also be used to transport special forces and material from the capital to other locations in the country.

India has purchased the first of the six aircraft under a $970m US Foreign Military Sales programme and is planning to place orders for six additional aircraft in the near future.

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