The Economic Times

IAF jets turn Agra Expressway into runway. Here's how

Breathtaking touch-and-go landings
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Breathtaking touch-and-go landings

Fighter and transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) today performed breathtaking touch-and-go landings on a stretch of the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, showing that highways can be used as landing strips in case of any emergency.

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The IAF jets
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The IAF jets

Over a dozen IAF planes, including Mirage-2000 fighters and Sukhoi 30s, besides 35,000 kg C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, took part in the exercise near Bangarmau in the district, about 65 km from Lucknow.

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The show-stopper
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The show-stopper

The transport aircraft are meant for humanitarian assistance and relief operations during floods or any other natural calamity

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Drill will test the readiness of IAF
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Drill will test the readiness of IAF

The exercise will test the readiness of the Air Force in situations like war, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief.

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Three-hour-long exercise
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Three-hour-long exercise

The three-hour-long exercise began with IAF's Special Forces Garud commandos getting off the C-130J transport aircraft with their vehicle and taking "positions" on either side of the expressway to secure "their airstrip" for the fighter aircraft.

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Super Hercules
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Super Hercules

This is the first time a transport aircraft -- a Super Hercules which can carry 200 commandos -- landed on the expressway. Inducted into the Air Force in 2010, each plane costs nearly Rs 900 crore.

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Not for the first time
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Not for the first time

Mirage-2000 fighters and Sukhoi-30 MKI -- which form the backbone of the IAF's fighter fleet -- have landed on the Yamuna Expressway in the past too, but it was for the first time that a transport aircraft landed on it.

A Mirage-2000 had landed on the Yamuna Expressway near Delhi for the first time in 2015. A similar exercise was conducted in May 2016, when a Mirage-2000 fighter plane touched down on the expressway.

Last November, six Sukhoi-30 jets touched down on a 3.3- km stretch of the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

Text: PTI

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