By – Shubhendra Singh Rajawat

The Kargil airfield, located at a height of more than 8,800 feet in the difficult Himalayan landscape, presents unique problems for pilots.

In a historic first, an Indian Air Force C-130J aircraft landed at the Kargil airport at night for the first time. The IAF shared the video of the night landing, saying, “In a first, an IAF C-130 J aircraft recently performed a night landing at the Kargil airstrip.” The exercise, which used terrain masking on route, also coincided with a Garuds training mission.”

However, the IAF did not disclose any additional information on the training mission.

An Indian Air Force C-130 Hercules is refueled and given routine maintenance Jan. 13, 2018, after landing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. before heading to McChord AFB, Wash. for exercise Vajra Prahar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

The Indian Air Force successfully landed two of its Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 ‘Super Hercules’ military transport aircraft in Uttarakhand in November last year. Inclement weather was used to deploy heavy engineering equipment to rescue personnel trapped inside a nearby under-construction mountain tunnel.

The IAF also utilized this aircraft on a daring nocturnal raid in Sudan last year.

The Kargil airfield, located at an elevation of more than 8,800 feet in the difficult Himalayan environment, presents unique obstacles for pilots. Pilots must demonstrate great precision and expertise throughout the landing process because to the high altitude, unexpected weather patterns, and severe winds.

The IAF’s thorough planning and the expertise of its pilots are shown by the successful landing of a C-130J aircraft in such tough conditions, particularly under the cover of darkness.

Furthermore, the Kargil night landing practice was smoothly interwoven with a training mission for the Indian Air Force’s top special forces squad, the Garuds. This collaborative method not only evaluated the IAF’s logistical capabilities, but also improved operational coordination between its air and ground divisions, confirming their readiness for any unanticipated scenarios.

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