Military Aviation


This would be the first time that an Indian Air Force transport aircraft lands on a road runway

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning its third road runway exercise on a stretch of Agra-Lucknow Expressway this October. Unlikely the past two exercises, this time the service will attempt to land its transport aircraft on the expressway.

According to the Hindustan Times, the drill is likely to be scheduled on the Air Force Day that falls on Oct. 8.

As told by a government spokesperson of the country IAF is in talks with them and is getting ready to land its cargo planes on the road-runway on the expressway.

Noteworthy this would be the first time that a transport aircraft lands on a road runway in India.

The IAF has a variety of transport planes, and it is not known yet which ones it will use for the road landing.

IAF cargo fleet in fact includes the Il-76 ‘Candid,’ the C-130 Hercules, the C-17 Globemaster III and the An-32 ‘Cline’ airlifters, the Il-78 tanker, Boeing 737 for VIP transport, and several more.

IAF has already landed on the Unnao stretch of Agra-Lucknow Expressway seven of its Sukhoi Su-30 and Mirage 2000 fighters in November and on the airstrip at Saifai village (Etawah) in May last year.

The 3.3-km stretch (whose construction has been funded by IAF) of the 302-km expressway can be used to perform emergency landings by fighter jets and transport planes when the military airfields are not available.

Photo credit: Indian Ministry of Defense and Jet Fabara / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

View Comments

  • Landing something that big on a road looks very challenging. Hats off to a pilot that can do that.

    • We will see next October if they are really able to land a cargo aicraft on a road runway..

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