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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 05 May: INDIAN Air Force’s (IAF) second C-130J Super Hercules hub became operational at the Air Force Station Arjan Singh at Panagarh in Burdwan on Thursday with the arrival of two aircraft from the Hindan air base off New Delhi.

Till now, Hindan was the only C-130J Super Hercules hub of the IAF. The two C-130J Super Hercules aircraft inducted at Arjan Singh base will commence operations over the next few days.

IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, today arrived at the Arjan Singh airbase on the occasion of the operationalisation of the country’s second C-130J Super Hercules hub. He is on a two-day review of the Eastern Air Command to take stock of the facilities and preparedness at the various airbases in eastern India.

IAF had timed in a fly-past by a C-130J Super Hercules flying in from Hindan coinciding with the Air Chief’s visit.  The second aircraft was kept parked at the tarmac beforehand.

Panagarh airbase was renamed Air Force Station Arjan Singh on 15 April honouring the Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh on his 97th birthday.

As a turnkey project M/s Lockheed Martin ~ the US-based manufacturer of C-130J Super Hercules aircraft ~ has built the hangar facilities and other associated infrastructure at Arjan Singh airbase to accommodate the latest acquisitions.

IAF will raise a new transport squadron at AFS Arjan Singh to operate the Super Hercules aircraft.

Presently, in the Eastern Air Command, two AN-32 squadrons operate out of the Jorhat airbase in upper Assam, and a flight of Avro aircraft undertakes VIP communication duties from Borjhar airbase in Guwahati.