As part of an emergency landing drill, sixteen aircraft of the Indian Air Force on 24 October 2017 took part in a touch-and-go exercise on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. IAF’s C-130 ‘Super Hercules’, a Rs 900-crore transport carrier, was the first to arrive on the expressway.
While the aircraft was still in motion, Garud commandos disembarked from the C-130 to secure the landing strip. The crew later deployed a ramp to roll-out a camouflaged Gypsy. The IAF’s Jaguars, Mirage 2000s and Sukhoi 30s were also part of the exercise but did not land on the airstrip. Watch an excerpt of the exercise-
The Indian Air Force (IAF) operates 53 bases across the country and the purpose of this exercise, according to the IAF, is to develop emergency landing capability if its bases are rendered incapable during war. Developing that capability, though, is not something that can be done overnight. It takes months of planning to pull off an exercise like this. Even in times of war, it is not something that can just happen. Just for this exercise, the highway had to be shut for a few days. The highway has to be cleared and cleaned before an aircraft can be landed. What a task, and done well!