India is commissioning five air strips next month to counter China’s aggressive infrastructure expansion on its eastern front.
The advanced landing grounds, capable of landing all types of transport and military aircraft, are developed in Arunachal Pradesh, various media reported today.
In 2011 the Centre planned to develop seven advanced landing grounds on strategic locations in Arunachal Pradesh such as Tawang, Mechuka, Vijaynagar, Tuting, Passighat, Walong, Ziro and Along at a cost of Rs 720 crore.
The advanced landing grounds in Passighat, Ziro, Along and Mechuka will be ready by next month while the Walong air strip was ready a fortnight ago. Further, the Tuting and Tawang air strips are expected to be operational early next year.
The office of the Chief Construction engineering, Northeast projects, have managed to upgrade the British-era small, mud-paved landing strip of Walong, which was used during World War II for operations in Burma, to land heavy transport military aircraft like Super Hercules C-130-J, Globemaster C-17 and AN-32 aircraft.
Analysts claim that strategically these transport aircraft allow swift movement of troops, artillery guns, armoured vehicles and tanks in case of any contingency.
In the case of Vijaynagar airstrip, the state government had built nearly 150 km of roads to develop an advanced landing ground for military operations. India recently has also opened three advanced landing grounds (ALG) in Ladakh region at Daulat Beg Oldi, Fuk Che and Nyoma, all close to the nearly 4,000-km Line of Actual Control.