After Defence minister Nirmala Sithraman witnessed air operations in Arunachal Pradesh’s Pasighat and Dollungmukh as a part of the ongoing Gagan Shakti exercise a major decision has been taken.
Apart from modernising eight existing advanced Landing grounds,India will build seven new advanced Landing grounds (ALGs) along the border with China in Arunachal Pradesh for the Indian air force.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sithraman said “The advanced Landing ground of the Indian air force in Arunachal Pradesh will be further built as part of the modernisation. We will develop all of them and even expand some in frontier area, that’s certain,”
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa further confirmed this, “As part of the expansion plan, seven more ALGs will be constructed for military operations in Arunachal Pradesh in addition to the existing eight ALGs in the easternmost state.”
Over 300 officers and 15000 airmen have been mobilized to participate in the exercise which began on 10 April. 1100 combat, transport and rotatory wing (helicopter) aircraft has also been mobilized to conduct all terrain operations in real time scenarios.
In the last few years, India has operationalised a number of ALGs along the border with China, mainly in Arunachal Pradesh including ALGs in Pasighat, Ziro, Along and Walong. The process of reconstruction ALGs along with China was started in 2009.
The Indian Air force recently landed C-130 J super Hercules transport aircraft at the ALG located in Mechuka, a small town in Western Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Out of the eight ALGs in Arunachal Pradesh which are being upgraded, works and services on Six ALGs have been completed while one at Tawang is nearly completed and work will soon start at Vijayanagar.