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Here are the Indian Air Force jets that landed on Agra-Lucknow Expressway

The jets included three Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, two formations of three aircraft each of Mirage 2000s and two formations of three aircraft each of Sukhoi-30.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2017 15:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
1/7

A Mirage 2000 jet makes a landing on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway in Unnao. The Indian Air Force on Tuesday held a drill to touchdown 20 aircraft on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. This was the first time that any transport aircraft landed and then took off from an expressway. (Subhankar Chakraborty / HT Photo)

More than a dozen aircraft of the Indian Air Force touched down and took off as part of a special drill on a 4km stretch of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway on Tuesday.

The exercise saw a C-130 J Super Hercules transport aircraft make a short landing on the highway, around 65 km from Lucknow. Garud Commandos disembarked from the aircraft, on foot as well as on a Gypsy, onto the highway-cum-runway.

It took off again, after which around 15 fighter jets touched down or made low overshoot over the highway. This is the first time a transport aircraft participated in such an exercise in India.

The jets included three Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, two formations of three aircraft each of Mirage 2000s and two formations of three aircraft each of Sukhoi-30.

Here are details of the aircraft involved in the exercise:

C 130J Super Hercules

The aircraft, powered by four Rolls Royce engines, can be used for a variety of missions such as special operations, combat delivery, peacekeeping, low intensity conflict, search and rescue, disaster relief and humanitarian missions.

Personnel display skills next to an Indian Air Force Hercules C-130J aircraft that landed on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. (PTI Photo)

Built by US aerospace major Lockheed Martin, it can carry out precision low-level flying, airdrops and landing in blackout conditions. It is operated by 15 countries including the air forces of the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Italy.

Mirage 2000

The aircraft was inducted into the IAF in the mid-80s and has proven its sound flight safety record. A Mirage 2000 can fly from Gwalior to Delhi in less than 15 minutes.

An Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jet lands on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. (PTI Photo)

Su-30 MKI

The IAF has contracted 272 Su-30 MKI fighter planes out of which nearly 240 have been delivered. The remaining 32 fighters are likely to be inducted over the next three years.

The first 50 jets came in ready from Russia, the remaining were and are being built under licence by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Seven Su-30 jets have crashed since 2009, while one is still listed as missing. The IAF inducted its first Su-30 fighter at the Lohegaon air base in Pune in June 1997.

Jaguar

The Jaguars are deep strike fighter planes, capable of carrying nuclear payload.

Indian Air Force Jaguar aircraft fly over the Lucknow-Agra Expressway during an IAF drill. (PTI Photo)

With inputs from agencies

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 14:36 IST