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The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) fleet of C-130J Super Hercules medium-sized airlifters has played a critical role in supporting the ongoing border standoff in Ladakh. These reliable aircraft have become workhorses for the IAF, consistently delivering crucial supplies and personnel to the strategic region.

India currently operates 12 C-130Js, which have seen extensive use in a variety of missions. Notably, they have been instrumental in providing logistical support to the troops stationed in Ladakh, where the tense border standoff with China has entered its fifth year.

Highlighting the aircraft’s dependability, Anthony G Frese, vice president of business development (air mobility and maritime missions) at Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the C-130J, emphasized the aircraft’s impressive near 90% availability rate. This metric signifies the C-130J’s exceptional airworthiness, ensuring the IAF can rely on it to fulfill critical missions.

The C-130J is renowned for its versatility and capability to operate in harsh conditions. Its ability to take off and land on short, unpaved runways makes it ideal for the high-altitude environment of Ladakh. This allows the IAF to efficiently deliver supplies and personnel directly to forward areas, bolstering India’s strategic presence in the region.