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India used American C-17s, C130J to transport relief material to Turkey, Syria: US top official

India has used American military transport aircrafts C-17s and C130J extensively, especially in its ongoing relief operations to Syria and Turkey, a top US official said at a press conference here on Sunday.

Major General Julian C Cheater, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the US Air Force, International Affairs, at a press conference said, “India is currently providing critical aid and supplies as part of Operation Dost. In the ongoing earthquake relief effort in the Republic of Turkey and Syria, it has used more than five of its C-17s to deliver more than 135 tonnes of specialised equipment and other relief material. This includes a field hospital, and search and rescue personnel. In addition, India has also used a C130J aircraft to transport more than six tonnes of much needed supplies to Syria.”

“As a side note India has the largest C-17 fleet outside the United States. It’s 11 C-17s regularly criss-cross around the world,” Cheater said. The official gave these examples while talking about India’s growing use of defence equipment from the United States and other western partners, which he said, has not only strengthened India’s military but has also increased their interoperability.

Operation Dost is an ongoing search and rescue operation initiated by the Government of India to aid Syria and Turkey, after a violent earthquake devastated both countries on 6 February 2023.

The McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft that was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. American aerospace company Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, continued to manufacture the C-17 for almost two decades.

The Indian Air Force also operates a fleet of 12 C-130Js made by American aerospace corporation Lockheed Martin, for its tactical airlift missions.

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Later in the day, at another press conference, Timothy J German, Director, Global Pursuits, Lockheed Martin said, “C130s are uniquely designed to go into locations where runways have been damaged. There are operators worldwide that are now sending C130s worldwide into Turkey, Syria to help humanitarian missions.”

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