The Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force successfully airlifted a record 463 tonnes of the load from its Chandigarh airbase to airfields and drop zones in the Ladakh region .
The entire exercise took place in a single attempt. The effort was accomplished with the help of a fleet of 16 fixed-wing transport aircraft comprising C-17 Globemaster, the Ilyushin-76 Gajraj and the Medium lift Tactical aircraft, Antonov-32.
All aircraft were loaded and taken off from the Chandigarh airbase early in the morning on Tuesday.
Air Marshal NJS Dhillon AVSM, the Senior Air Staff Officer of Western Air Command, under whose direction the effort was achieved 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 now has a credible airlift capability which has provided succour on numerous occasions when the nation was struck with natural calamities” The entire exercise was accomplished in little less than 6 hours.
Airlift of approximately 500 tonnes, in the achieved time frame and at one go, happens to be a record and enhances the assessment of the Commands’ capability towards rapid and heavy airlift.
The command is entrusted with the air maintenance of the country's entire northern region and, under normal operating circumstances, airlifts close to 3,000 tonnes of load per month.