The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to upgrade two of its fighter bases on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that will expand its reach in South Asia by 1,200km.

The air force will turn its airstrips at Shibpur in the Andaman Islands and at Campbell Bay in the Nicobar Islands into all-weather bases, to support fighter operations, according to

Commander-in-chief of Andaman Nicobar Command Vice-Admiral DK Joshi said the two airstrips would be upgraded to 12,000ft from the existing 3,200ft.

The upgraded airbases will increase India’s presence in the region and provide the tri-services command at Andaman Nicobar with more options to deploy aircraft.

Upgrade work has already begun on the airstrips. The upgrades will enhance the air force’s night operations capability.