The Indian Air Force (IAF) is assertively improving its on the eastern theatre to improve strategic deployment of superior assets nearby the Chinese border.
In a brief conversation with IANS, Air Marshal Anil Khosla who heads Shillong-based Eastern Air Command, stated “The infrastructure development is taking place at a very, very rapid pace in the eastern front. We are inducting a number of new platforms in term of weapons, radar systems, networking systems.” He added “We are getting Rafale aircraft, Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and Apache attack helicopters. Recently, we have inaugurated a new C-130 J squadron complex in the Eastern Air Command.”
Given that Eastern Air Command is getting bigger in terms of strength every day, Khosla mentioned, “We are getting ready to absorb the new technology and in another few years, may be two-three years or five years, it will be a very, very potent force (Eastern Air Command).”
“As I said, the delivery has already started. The radars are already coming in. We already have C-130 and we have operationalised a lot of helicopters units such as Mi-17 and Mi-17 V5, ALH, and in future we will get Chinooks, Apache, Rafale. So for all this, infrastructure is required,” he further added.
Khosla informed that six advance landing grounds have already been made operational in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, and that the advance landing ground situated at Tawang is also being upgraded along with another one at Vijaynagar.
“A lot of infrastructure is coming in our airfields to house the new (radar and networking) systems. We are trying to improve the operating surfaces further so that all these fighters and heavy transport aircraft can land and take off,” the Air Marshal was quoted as saying.
“We are trying to make bases for housing our new radars which will be coming in. In addition, we are trying to upgrade our ranges to ‘air to ground’ ranges which are very important for the training of people,” he further added.
However, Khosla also added that the Indian Air Force ability development was not targeted at any specific country or they didn’t keep a particular country in mind when making decisions for improvement.
“It is a capability building of our own as over the years we have improved in the country economically. It is all-round capability building and development in the civil field as well as in the military field. So it is not aimed at any particular country. We are building up our capability and Air Force is becoming a potent and formidable force, and it is towards that,” he added.