Proud moment for UP: Air Force Planes Land on Lucknow-Agra Expressway

LUCKNOW: It was a proud moment for Uttar Pradesh as sixteen planes of the Indian Air Force performed touch and go landings on a stretch of the Lucknow-Agra Expressway today morning.

A 35,000 kg C-130J Super Hercules aircraft will come to a full stop on landing to deploy Garud Special Forces commandos to secure the landing zone as part of the special drill.

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Fighter jets comprising of the top of the line Sukhoi 30s and Mirage 2000s won’t, on the other hand, come to a full stop, but will instead take off after touching down on the airstrip.

The three-hour long exercise simulates an emergency situation when airbases, the first target of bombs and missiles, won’t be available for air operations, necessitating use of highways as landing strips.

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The aircraft touchdown exercise is taking place on the stretch near Bangarmau in Unnao district, about 65 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.

This is the first time a transport aircraft – a Super Hercules, which can carry 200 commandos – is landing on an expressway. Inducted into the air force in 2010, each plane costs nearly Rs. 900 crore.

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