IAF jets carry out drill on Agra-Lucknow Expressway
Lucknow: Several aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday touched down and took off as part of a special drill on a 4-kilometre stretch of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district.
The exercise by the IAF, in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh government, saw a C-130 J Super Hercules transport aircraft make a short landing on the highway, around 65 km from Lucknow.
Garud Commandos disembarked from the aircraft, on foot as well as on a Gypsy, onto the highway-cum-runway.
It took off again, after which around 15 fighter jets touched down or made low overshoot over the highway.
This is the first time a transport aircraft participated in such an exercise in India.
The jets included three Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, two formations of three aircraft each of Mirage 2000s and two formations of three aircraft each of Sukhoi-30.
The exercise culminated with the C-130 J returning for another short landing.
"This is an important exercise for war as well as peace time in case of emergencies like providing humanitarian assistance, evacuation or distribution of relief material," spokesperson Gargi Malik Sinha said.
On May 21, 2016, a Mirage 2000 had touched down on the Yamuna Expressway.
A number of highways have been cleared by the government for being used as airstrip for emergencies.