A C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft with distinct militaries commandos and frontline fighters from the Indian Air Force’s inventory will be part of an exercise to use highways as landing strips.
The exercise will start with a C-130J Hercules transport aircraft of the IAF making an attack landing with Garud commandos. The commandos will also be detached from the same spot as the final act of the exercise when the C-130 will make a landing another time.
On October 24, a patch of Lucknow-Agra Expressway, near Bangarmau in Unnao district will double up to make a landing strip. The government has planned to categorize and develop a number of highways for use as runways for IAF planes during emergencies.
The exercise will start with a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force or IAF making an assault landing with Garud commandos. These commandos will also be extricated from the same spot as the final act of the exercise when the C-130 will make a landing for the second time.
Around 16 aircraft will land or touchdown during the exercise. The event organised by the IAF, together with the state government is second of its kind and first at this scale.
The fighter jet that will land on the highway strip includes three Jaguar fighters, six Mirage 2000 in two groups of three each, and six Su-30 fighter jets, again in two groups of three each.
On May 21, 2016, a Mirage 2000 fighter plane of the IAF had touched down on the Yamuna Expressway as a demonstration of competence to land fighter jets on highways.
According to news sources, 12 highways have been cleared for similar landing operations, with three of those linking Maoist-affected areas in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, which also witness vagaries of nature like floods and cyclones almost every year.
These strips would be used in case of emergencies such as natural disaster as well as in situations of war or conflict.