N-E build-up not to counter Chinese: Air Chief

Last Updated: Friday, November 18, 2011 - 15:20

Itangar/Bangalore: As an airfield in the
border state of Arunachal Pradesh was reactivated today, IAF
Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said beefing up
infrastructure in the north-east is not to "counter" the
Chinese.

Browne also said the Vijaynagar airfield, located at the
country`s easternmost tip at the tri-junction of India, China
and Myanmar, is too short to operate fighter aircraft.
The Air Chief said in addition to AN-32 cargo planes,
which will be in operation now, there will be C130 transport
flights in due course from the airfield.

The airfield is "too small for fighter aircraft," he
added.

It was reactivated today in the presence of Arunachal
Pradesh Governor General (retd) J J Singh.
Asked whether the infrastructure plans in the north-east
were to "counter" the Chinese, he said: "It`s not to counter
anybody. All that we are doing is to provide tremendous amount
of accessibility to the north-east region".

He pointed out that the region had not developed because
of inability to transport people and provide access to certain
hinterland areas. The increased accessibility would lead to
all-round development of the north-east, he said.

"And while we (IAF) are there, we will also support the
Army", he added.

The use of Vijaynagar airfield was discontinued in 2009
for carrying out repairs there.

The airfield is used for air maintenance and will help
in mobilising troops and equipment at a faster pace as and
when required.
This is the first Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in the
north-east to be upgraded in what is seen as India`s efforts
to match Chinese military infrastructure development
activities.

ALGs in Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting and Ziro as
well as several helipads in Arunachal are also being upgraded.
IAF has so far activated its ALGs in Ladakh including
Nyoma, Daulat Beg Oldi and Fukche and is planning to convert
Nyoma in to a full-fledged air base.

PTI



First Published: Friday, November 18, 2011 - 15:17

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