IAF deploys Sukhoi-30 MKI in Arunachal Pradesh near China border
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed Sukhoi-30 MKI air dominance fighter aircraft after activating the upgraded advanced landing ground (ALG) at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, India, near China border.
The deployment is part of India's efforts to increase its capabilities along its border with China. The Indian government recently cleared the deployment of a special version of the BrahMos cruise missile in Arunachal Pradesh.
The new runway surface and other infrastructure at Pasighat include facilities such as aprons for ground manoeuvring, air traffic control tower, perimeter road and a security wall.
As well as facilitating air connectivity with rest of the country, Pasighat ALG will support operations of fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters of both civil and military operators.
A statement posted on the Indian Defence Ministry’s Press Information Bureau website read: “The touchdown by a frontline fighter jet of the IAF at the ALG is a 'historic first' in the predominantly hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, which has several ALGs at varying altitudes.”
In June 2009, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the state Government of Arunachal Pradesh and the Indian Defence Ministry to refurbish eight advanced airfields including infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh for Rs10bn ($148.64m).
In Arunachal Pradesh, Pasighat ALG is the fifth forward airfield preceded by those that are operational at Ziro, Along, Mechuka and Walong. The sixth and seventh ALGs at Tuting and Tawang are expected to be ready by 31 December and 30 April 2017 respectively.
The reconstruction of ALG at Vijaynagar will begin as soon as the road connectivity is restored between Miao and Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh.