Indian students from five leading universities have participated in a cargo aircraft design contest held by the global aerospace major Lockheed Martin, the US-based company said on Tuesday.
"The student-designed concepts for disaster relief operations are part of our C-130J Super Hercules university contest," the aerospace major said in a statement here.
The students are from the state-run Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi and Chennai, Delhi Technological University, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies at Dehradun and Birla Institute of Technological Studies Pilani-Goa campus.
In the run-up to the design challenge, unveiled in November 2014, the company provided the students research grants to work with local partners and mentors from the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation for developing design specifications of modules that can be used on its cargo jet.
"We will award students of three institutes a second grant in 2016 to develop a prototype of their module and mentor a go-to-market strategy," the statement said but did not mention the grant amount.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) flies a fleet of five C-130J aircraft to meet its operational requirements.
"The contest provides new opportunities to develop solutions for the global C-130J fleet that are in operation in 16 nations the world over," Lockheed's Indian arm director Abhay Paranjape said.
The students also met IAF pilots, engineers and load-masters of the multi-utility aircraft to understand how roll-on and roll-off missions are undertaken for disaster relief operations at short notice.
"The C-130 has a built-in ramp that allows cargo or mission system modules to be rolled-on and off, and for reconfiguring cargo areas anywhere rapidly," Paranjape said in the statement.