The Indian Air Force has commissioned Air Force Station Arjan Singh in Panagarh, in the state of West Bengal in India, which houses six C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft.
AFS Arjan Singh became fully operational in the last week of July at Panagarh, which is located about 150km northwest of Kolkata, Times of India reported Thursday.
Panagarh is the second location in the country, after Hindan in Ghaziabad, to have a base for the C-130J aircraft.
Technicians and engineers from Lockheed Martin have been building hangars and other facilities for these aircraft at Panagarh for over two years.
“An Ilyushin Il-78 mid-air refueller has also been based at Panagarh to extend the endurance of Eastern Air Command (EAC)'s fighter fleet, particularly the Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs,” a senior IAF official in New Delhi said.
"The first of the C-130Js started arriving in India in 2011 and the first squadron (Veiled Vipers) was based at Hindan.” another IAF officer said.
These aircraft are considered among the most versatile in their class, capable of landing with troops and equipment at Advanced Landing Grounds with short runways close to the Line of Actual Control with China in India's northeastern states.
The Super Hercules apart from being a mere transport aircraft, it is a strategic asset that can deploy troops in hostile territory at extremely short notice.