The Indian Air Force conducted a special emergency landing drill today morning on the Lucknow-Agra expressway in which 20 top fighter jets and couple of transport aircraft took part in a daring touch-and-go exercise.
The first aircraft to arrive on the expressway was IAF’s C-130 ‘Super Hercules’, which is a transport carrier worth Rs 900-crore. While the aircraft was landing, the Garud commandos disembarked from the moving C-130 to secure the landing strip. Thereafter, the crew rolled out a camouflaged Gypsy to complete the drill. Apart from the Super Hercules, IAF’s Sukhoi 30s, Mirage 2000s and Jaguar were also a part of the exercise program, though they did not land on the airstrip.
This drill was performed as a part of Indian Air Force’s efforts to deal with emergencies, during which air force bases are often rendered inaccessible.
The landing stretch of the aircraft was 65 kilometers from Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow. In order to prepare the ground for the grand event, vehicles had been barred from plying on the airstrip. Moreover, the entire expressway was to be closed for commuters till 2 pm to ensure smooth conduct of the drill along with tight security.
Talking about the touch-down exercise performed by the IAF, PRO, Defense (Central Command), Gargi Malik Sinha said:
It is for the first time that any transport aircraft will land and then take off (on the highway). The AN-32 are meant for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The aircraft can bring a large amount of relief material and can also help in evacuating people.
It is to be remembered that the IAF had performed a similar program in 2016 to mark the grand opening of the Lucknow-Agra expressway. The 302-kilometre, six-lane, expressway — India’s longest — was inaugurated by the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav. Often deemed as Akhilesh Yadav’s pet project, this expressway took a record two years to be built.
Many congratulations also poured in from various sections of the society after a successful completion of the drill:
— ठाकुर साहब (@ThakurSa_) ২৪ অক্টোবর, ২০১৭
— Amit Jhajharia (@imAmitJhajharia) ২৪ অক্টোবর, ২০১৭
— Krishna Mohan Sharma (@KMShrma) ২৪ অক্টোবর, ২০১৭
Some people also congratulated former chief minister of the state, Akhilesh Yadav, for the expressway.
— saurabh srivastava (@saurabhsri07) ২৪ অক্টোবর, ২০১৭
— Sab moh maya hai (@sabkamalikekhau) ২৪ অক্টোবর, ২০১৭