The planes were at Cocos Island for a week, which can be an important base for refuelling and operational turnaround for Indian armed forces; India aims to increase its military-to-military engagement, deepening interoperability in the region
Expanding the strategic reach of the Indian military and improving interoperability with Australia, an Indian Navy Dornier maritime patrol aircraft and an Indian Air Force (IAF) C-130 transport aircraft visited Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) in the Southern Indian Ocean, close to Indonesia and strategic maritime choke points earlier this month, diplomatic and official sources confirmed.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) operates a fleet of 12 C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft.
These aircraft were ordered in two batches, with the first six being delivered in 2008 and the second six being delivered in 2014.
The C-130J is the most advanced version of the Hercules family of aircraft and is used by the IAF for a variety of missions, including:
- Troop and cargo transport
- Humanitarian assistance
- Search and rescue
- Special operations
- Medical evacuation
The C-130J is a highly versatile aircraft that can operate from short and unprepared airfields. It is also equipped with a variety of self-defense systems, making it a capable platform for special operations missions.
The IAF’s C-130Js have been deployed on a number of missions, including:
- The delivery of relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nepal in 2015
- The evacuation of Indian nationals from Yemen in 2015
- The transport of troops and supplies to the Siachen Glacier
- The support of counter-insurgency operations in the northeast of India
The C-130J is a valuable asset to the IAF and is likely to continue to be used for a variety of missions in the years to come.