Indian Air Force strategic Airbase Arjan Singh in Panagarh, West Bengal is going to turn into a training base for Indian Army Special Force ‘Paratroopers’.
AFS Arjan Singh became the second air base in the country after AFS Hindan, where the C-130J Super Hercules strategic transport aircraft got stationed a couple of months ago during the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam.
From a base that was best remembered for its China-Burma-India operations during World War II, AFS Arjan Singh has evolved into a primary asset for the IAF. Paratroop Instructors (PI) from the Paratroopers Training School (PTS) in Agra have already set up their base here to train Special Forces for operations at night, even beyond the country’s borders.
“The C-130J Super Hercules is a state-of-the-art aircraft with a head-up display for the pilots that was only available to fighter pilots till now. The pilots of this aircraft do not have to look down at the controls. The aircraft also has curved propellers to reduce noise and increase efficiency.
They also have a refueling probe that would enable to spend more time in the air. The infra-red sensors in the front allow the people inside to have a monochromatic view of the surroundings, allowing operations at low levels in the night. The Super Hercules is capable of precise tactical airdrops,” said, Air Vice Marshal Vikram Singh, air-officer-commanding, advance headquarters, Eastern Air Command.
On Friday, a C-130J Super Hercules of the recently commissioned Raiding Raptors (Squadron 87) showcased its para trooping role by taking off with seven PIs and dropping them from 8,000 feet over the base within a few minutes.
Air Vice Marshal Singh added the aircraft can be used for counterinsurgency operations by Special Forces in the North East.