C-17 heavy-lift aircraft
IAF deploys major aircraft to airlift new bank notes. In Picture: The first C-17 heavy-lift aircraft built for the Indian Air Force arrived at Edwards January 22.Wiki Commons/Jet Fabara

The Indian Air Force has deployed some of its most advanced and biggest aircraft in its inventory, which includes the likes of C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft to transport newly minted currency notes following PM Narendra Modi's announcement on November 8 to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

The government requested the service of the IAF to minimise the time taken by other usual routes and to address the cash-crunch affecting people.

Apart from the aircraft mentioned above, IAF has also deployed AN 32 and transport helicopters to airlift the bank notes and distribute to designated centres. According to the IAF official, the first sortie was on November 20 and the sorties have been continuing since then. Further, in the coming weeks, these sorties are likely to increase.

Previously, the government would move currency via a combination on road and rail links and only in places like the North East does the government use IAF helicopters to transport notes.

"Helicopters were already used for transporting cash to some remote areas of the Northeast. But the use of transport aircraft is a new thing," a source said, PTI reported.

Since it began its transporting bank notes, IAF has airlifted over 160 tonnes of newly minted notes from printing presses in Nasik, Mysore, Indore and Salboni.