This was a real-time demonstration of the heavy lift capability of the Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force and the Indian Army conducted a joint airlift exercise earlier this week as part of winter stocking of supplies in the Northern Sector.

The heavy lift exercise, named 'Op Hercules' was carried out on Monday.

The aim of this high intensity airlift was to strengthen the logistics supply in the Northern sector. It was also intended to augment winter stocking in the operational areas, the Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday.

The aircraft used for the airlift were C-17, IL-76 and An-32 aircraft. They took off from one of the forward bases of Western Air Command.

"The effort was a real-time demonstration of the inherent heavy lift capability of the Indian Air Force, which has played a major role in ensuring the ability to quickly respond to any contingency during the past," the Ministry of Defence said.

Strengthening the logistics supply network in the Northern sector is important to ensure that the troops are battle-ready in the case of any contingency.

This has become even more critical following the recent standoff with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) along several stretches of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), particularly in Eastern Ladakh.

Twenty Indian soldiers had been killed in action during a violent faceoff in Eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley in June last year. A number of Chinese soldiers had also been killed though China has never revealed the actual number of casualties on their side.
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