Shillong: The Indian Air Force is
planning massive infrastructure development in the strategic
region bordering China including stationing of two more Su30
squadrons and developing six advanced landing grounds in the
northeast but said it is in "no race to beat somebody".
With Chabua and Tezpur in Assam already having a
squadron each of the Sukhoi fighter jets, IAF vice chief
designate Air Marshal K K Nohwar today said two more Su30
squadrons would be deployed in the region by 2014-15.
Asked by reporters if India was trying to match the
developments on the Chinese side, he said, "We are in no race
to beat somebody. But the force and the bases the IAF is
developing is adequate to meet any threat in future."
IAF has also taken over six Advanced Landing Grounds ?
Tuting, Menchuka, Along, Passighat, Vijaynagar and Ziro - from
the Arunachal Pradesh government for upgrading, he said.
"The work has just started, and it will take about two
years to complete," Nohwar told his last press conference as
the AoC-in-C of Eastern Air Command here.
According to him, once the medium multi-role combat
aircraft (MMRCA) deal is through, the Air Force would deploy
some of the squadrons in the eastern sector besides some
medium lift helicopters.
He said Remotely Piloted Aircraft would also arrive in
the sector in the next few years.
"Old radars are being replaced with new ones. More
radars will be inducted. Keeping in mind the terrain, lots of
places have been identified and a standard deployment pattern
is being followed. This will ensure best possible coverage to
detect any hostile threat," the Air Marshal, who will take
over as the Vice Chief of Air Staff on August 1, said.
Besides, the military is developing two helipads at
Tawang and Walong in Arunachal Pradesh, he said.
When told about reports of Chinese airplanes chasing
an US spy aircraft over Taiwan recently and apprehension that
there could be similar manoeuvres in Indian skies, Nohwar
said, "Let me assure you, if any of our neighbours try to
intrude into our air space, it will meet the same fate as that
met the Atlantic in the Rann of Kutch (in 1999)."
He was referring to the shooting down of a Pakistan
Navy patrol aircraft `Atlantic` by IAF MiG-21s after it failed
to force it to land at an Indian base over the Rann of Kutch.
"Lessons learnt from the past are also taken into
account while deciding on the force levels. The present force
level is adequate to meet any emerging threat in future,"
"Military appreciation is done from time to time
taking into account the position you are holding, the kind of
terrain and the concept of operation in case of a future
Noting that the Mi21s have been phased out except for
a squadron at Kalaikunda, he said, most of the semi-permanent
infrastructure was being changed and developed keeping in mind
the climatic conditions in the region.
On the advanced landing grounds, he said, "Once these
ALGs are commissioned, fixed-wing aircraft like AN 32 which
can carry much larger loads than choppers can land. There will
also be an opportunity for military aircraft to land there."