IAF shows its mastery in ‘airlift’

In an evaluation of the rapid airlift capability of the Indian Air Force at times of war and natural disasters, the Western Air Command (WAC) airlifted a record 463 tonnes of load from Chandigarh to airfields and drop-zones in the Ladakh region in a single wave on Tuesday. This was accomplished with a fleet of 16 fixed-wing transport aircraft, including the heavy-lift C-17 Globemaster and Il-76 and the medium-lift An-32. “All aircraft were loaded, and took off from the Chandigarh airbase early in the morning. The entire wave was accomplished in little less than six hours,” the IAF said in a statement. The WAC is entrusted with the air maintenance of India’s northern region, and under normal circumstances, it airlifts close to 3000 tonnes of load a month. Air Marshall N.J.S. Dhillon, Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of the Western Air Command, who oversaw the effort, said rapid air mobility is a key component of modern warfare. “This assumes greater significance in short and intense wars. This is very true in India’s context, especially when related to air mobility to the airfields in the Ladakh region,” he said. In recent times, the IAF has transformed its airlift capability by inducting 10 C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift and 12 C-130s from the U.S.

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