Thursday, 6 October 2011

Indian Air Force raises new threat to Pakistan and China

New Delhi – After threatening Pakistan’s security by deploying a squadron of its fighting jets along borders with Pakistan on Sunday last, India is all set to develop the Kargil airfield as a full-fledged transport base by 2016, by when the Indian Air Force (IAF) aims to operate both medium and heavy-lift planes from there. It also plans to operate combat aircraft from Kargil sometime in the future. The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, said at the annual press conference here on Monday ahead of the Air Force Day Oct 8 that the IAF will expand the 6,000-foot runway in Kargil to enable operations of all major transport aircraft From Page 1 such as the Soviet-origin IL-76 heavy-lift planes, the newly-ordered C-17 heavy-lift aircraft from the US, and the just-acquired C-130J Super Hercules. Soviet-origin medium-lift AN-32 transport planes are already being operated from the Kargil airfield.
                     The occupying Jammu and Kashmir government had activated the airfield in 1996 for civilian aircraft operations and it was under the Airports Authority of India (AAI) till the Kargil war, when the military operations began there. Since then, the IAF has been operating the AN-32s from the airfield, apart from the occupying Jammu and Kashmir government using it for operating tourist flights. The IAF chief said as plans for Kargil base progressed, they would like to operate fighter jets from the airfield there, ‘but that is still a distance away’. THREATS FOR CHINA Browne said IAF was also planning to develop the Nyoma air base close to the border with China in the Ladakh region of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir into a fighter base and the plans had been approved by Defence Minister A.K. Antony. “The Nyoma plans will soon go to the Cabinet Committee on Security for final approval,” he added. The development of these air bases are part of the IAF’s plans for raising threats for both Pakistan and China. Nyoma already has a 12,000-foot runway and the air base is at an altitude of 13,300 fleet. Once the facilities come up, we can do a fair amount of defensive and offensive operations from there,” Browne added.

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