India's first C-130J nears completion in the USA - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 16 August 2010

India's first C-130J nears completion in the USA

(Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin: Marietta, Georgia, USA)

Lockheed Martin says:

"One of the Indian Air Force’s six C-130J aircraft (front) takes its spot on the flightline in Marietta, Georgia (U.S.), with other C-130 aircraft destined for the U.S. and Canadian Air Forces. The first test flight of the aircraft is scheduled for September 21. This program is
on budget and on schedule to deliver the first aircraft to India early next year."


  1. @ajai sir

    India has not signed CISMOA and other stringent agreements and will never do it.

    The American say withouts signing these agreements India gettign these 12 C-130J Super Hercules or the 10 C-17 Globemasters III includig the follow on 10 will be nothing steels hunks devoid of any latest equipments that can enhance there operational effectiveness.

    In that case what options do we have?

  2. Is this an R&D project that "on budget and on schedule" is being repeatedly emphasized ? Is this the first time they are making this plane.

  3. Ajai Sir,

    India is getting so much from US
    The c 130, P-8, c-11, artillery, Javelins, c-37 j Spartans , apaches , chinooks(on their way in India) may be the Hawk-II deal too... and the list goes on... its endless...

    we The Great Indian paying so much money buying these machines... not thinking 2nd time that we can put those money to build those war machine in our country .. creating a work force as well as employment to thousand Indian...
    Look at that China they almost stopped importing arms making all indigenous in their country..

    I think we need to change our "CHALTA HAI" attitude and if possible start privatizing the DRDO as well as all other defense R&Ds... as they are spending the tax payer's MONEY and time as granted..

  4. Joydeep:

    Can you let me know which US official has said that these aircraft will be "steel hulks devoid of any latest equipment"?

    Or are you sounding off without any factual backing?

    Anonymous 15:54:

    You appear to have forgotten that almost every other purchase that India has made --- from Gorshkov, to Hawks, to Scorpenes and several others --- continue to face time and cost over-runs even though they are not R&D projects. In that respect, Lockheed Martin is making a substantial claim.

    Mukut: I agree with you! We are moving along those lines, but far too slowly.

  5. Col Shukla,
    Any information on the cannon or other armament that is put on Indian Hercules. With the kind of payload capacity, We can almost mount a big Gun on it IMO

    Peace on Earth!

  6. Times have changed perhaps and India is helping America in a thousand ways to overcome one day the recession of America.

    Hmmm... sounds like a scenario before WWI and WWII. Lol...

  7. i think there is a difference in making an aircraft carrier which was abandoned decades ago n making a plane which is the largest selling transport aircraft.
    plus scorpene project is getting delayed coz its being built by MDL.
    knowing indian shipyards trackrecord its liable to get delayed.

  8. What is the cost of losing another large chunk of your homeland and having your army and navy torn to bits by China if you nickle and dime the military?

    If you lose another war to China, you're never ever going to get anything back.

  9. plus americans really dont want delayed deliveries if they want to bag the MMRCA contract. so in tht case i think everything will be on time.

  10. C130J is ongoing production line not like Gorshkov which is only one of its kind and for other projects like Hawk and Scorpene, production is done in india so not good comparison. building in US wonot get us any benefit in long term compare building in india by technology transfer will build expertise in india like what China did.

  11. Broadsword said: "You appear to have forgotten that almost every other purchase that India has made --- from Gorshkov, to Hawks, to Scorpenes and several others --- continue to face time and cost over-runs even though they are not R&D projects."

    Shuklaji, Most of the delayed projects e.g. Hawks, Scorpenes are delayed because they are locally manufactured under ToT and there are price related issues, ToT issues or Local issues. OR the delay happens because of an indigenous product going from R&D to bulk-production stage for the first time

    There really is NO big deal in the company manufacturing at its own faciility. They are trying to score brownie points where there are none.

  12. Ajai sir

    I think the 2 links I am sending
    may clear your doubts

  13. Since India has not signed CISMOA, we may be ineligible to receive certain advanced communications and navigation equipment along with the aircraft. However, we are well along the way to getting our own high precision GPS system (GAGAN), so at least part of the losses from not signing an agreement like CISMOA are avoided.

  14. What high precision GPS system?

    We Indians always want to act smart and then under-deliver, putting the humble jawan on the front line in grave danger.

    500 Mig-21s have crashed and we're still pretending that we don't have anything to learn from the West.

    Its hush hush but apparently the availability rate and the mean time between failures of the MKI is also a bit crap hence the rush to upgrade it at the high price.

    How many times in history must Russian equipment be spanked by Western gear and troops before India wakes the hell up.

  15. @ joydeep ghosh

    We are still far from getting GAGAN, and it will take few years to integrate it with existing systems, training, and making an efficient use of it. you are talking something useful beyond 2020-2025

  16. any update on Indian Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) under-construction at Cochin Shipyard?

  17. What India should have done years ago was withdraw from the Indo-Russian MTA(which is unlikely to get off the drawing board anytime soon and whose workshare for India keeps decreasing) and invest in the Embraer C-390 program. It is a far more promising aircraft that is in the same league as the Hercules and which would have been a great opportunity to pitch in and build up our R & D capabilities.

  18. Ajai sir

    I think I have not been specific, so I am making my points clear

    1. In the below mentioned article by you, published in ‘Business Standard’ you have written about 2 statements made by Robert Gates

    America conveys impatience over pending defence agreements

    Visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, has strongly urged India’s government to sign these agreements. MoD sources say that, in his meeting with Defence Minister AK Antony, Gates conveyed Washington’s impatience at New Delhi’s delay. Without a CISMOA, Gates suggested, the C-130J would be just a top-notch transport aircraft; the CISMOA was necessary for fitting the electronics that would transform it into the world’s most formidable Special Forces aircraft.

    Growing US impatience at India’s inaction was also evident from Gates’ elaboration that, “These agreements have been laying around for quite a while… this is not some new requirement that has just emerged. [These agreements] are preponderantly in India’s benefit, because they give high-tech systems additional high-tech capabilities… are enablers, if you will, to the very highest quality equipment in the Indian armed forces.”

    2. As for the statements made by US officials in the below mentioned article published in ‘The Telegraph’

    Air force gets US planes minus security net

    A US defence official told this newspaper “anything that requires encryption, which includes military-grade global positioning systems (GPS)” will not be mounted on the C-130J or the C-17 Globemaster III (made by Boeing) because India has not yet signed the Communications Inter-Operability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).
    Asked if there was any way India could access the equipment without signing the CISMOA, he replied “there is no way around this”. He said the CISMOA would apply to the proposed sale of the C-17 also. Trials for the aircraft were completed last month and the Indian Air Force has decided to buy it.
    I think it proves my point of view of saying that ‘the C-130Js’ as well as the C-17 Globemaster III will be nothing but steel hulks.
    Awaiting your response

    Thank You

    Joydeep Ghosh

  19. Joydeep:

    When I don't respond to a comment, just let the matter lie. Don't keep asking the same question over and over again.

    You do, I hope, understand the difference between: "a top-notch transport aircraft"; and "nothing but steel hulks."

    For analysts, words, statements and descriptions are important. If you see nothing incongruous in terming what multiple air forces consider the world's premier medium transport aircraft as... a "steel hulk"... what response do you expect?

    The C-130J, C-17 and P8I aircraft that will be delivered to India will contain COTS (commercially available off-the-shelf) navigation, communication, encryption and EW systems. They will not come with empty slots where those systems are fitted in aircraft being delivered to CISMOA-compliant countries. But the COTS equipment, no matter how cutting edge, will be a rung or two below what India would have got were it to sign the CISMOA.

  20. Has the Indian govt signed the CIASMOA and AGC agreements pertaining to the c130J aircrafts? I hope they havent


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