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IAF airlifts 463 tonnes of load from Chandigarh to Ladakh region in record six hours

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted a record 463 tonnes of load from its airbase at Chandigarh to airfields and drop zones in the Ladakh region in a single wave.

Notably, the exercise was organised by Western Air Command of the IAF to evaluate its own ‘Rapid Airlift Capability’ and to enhance crew currency in the role.

The effort was accomplished with the aid of a fleet of 16 fixed-wing transport aircraft comprising of C-17 Globemaster, the Ilyushin-76 Gajraj and the Medium-lift Tactical aircraft, Antonov-32.

All the aircraft were loaded and took off from Chandigarh airbase on Tuesday morning. The entire wave was accomplished in little less than 6 hours. Airlift of approximately 500 tonnes, in the achieved time frame, in a single wave, happens to be a record, which enhances the assessment of the Commands’ capability towards rapid and heavy airlift.

The command is entrusted with the air maintenance of the entire northern region of the country and under normal operating circumstances airlifts close to 3000 tonnes of load per month.

The exercise was held under the direction of Air Marshall NJS Dhillon AVSM, the SASO of Western Air Command. He said, “Rapid air mobility is a key component of modern warfare. This assumes greater significance in short and intense wars. This is very true in India’s context, especially when related to air mobility to airfields in the Ladakh region. With a wide spectrum of military transport aircraft in its inventory, the IAF today has a credible airlift capability which has provided succour on numerous occasions when the nation was struck with natural calamities.”

Also Read: India, US to kick-off joint air force exercise ‘Ex Cope India-18’ soon