The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to equip six new Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft equipped with the Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS), it was disclosed on 15 March.
A solicitation posted by the US Air Force (USAF) on the US Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) calls for the delivery of six C-130Js with the terrain elevation data for the TAWS. This TAWS subscription will run for 40 months starting 31 May 2017 through 31 August 2020, and will likely be renewed after.
As noted in the solicitation, the aircraft will be fielded by 87 Squadron based at Air Force Station (AFS) Arjan Singh (formerly Panagarh airbase) in the Burdwan district of West Bengal. 87 Squadron is not currently operational, and would be stood-up to receive these aircraft.
Responses to the solicitation should be submitted no later than 4:00PM EST 30 March.
The IAF currently fields four C-130Js, having ordered six in 2008. One aircraft was lost in an accident in March 2014 (a replacement was announced, but not approved), and in February of this year a second was severely damaged while taxiing at Thoise airfield in Ladakh. The current C-130J fleet is operated by 77 Squadron based at AFS Hindon, near the capital New Dehli.
These latest six aircraft that are being solicited were contracted in December 2013 for USD1.1 billion. As with the current fleet, these aircraft will be fitted with defensive aids, Indian-specific communication systems, and chin-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turrets.