Indian Air Force is proposing to construct 108 new generation hardened aircraft shelters at a cost of more than Rs 5,000 crore (US$772.1 million) to protect its fleet of fighter jets.
Indian is adopting hardened blast panes as it wants to safeguard its frontline aircraft such as Su-30MKI, Jaguars, Mirages and Rafale aircraft from 2000 pound enemy bombs in case of war, Deccan Herald reported Monday.
It is estimated that each shelter would likely cost about Rs 50 crore (US$7.7 million) as they would be made up of reinforced concrete, apart from having iron doors and maintenance facilities.
Blast panes are crucial for military air field where combat aircraft are kept during the war to save the metal birds from enemy bombs and missiles.
The existing IAF shelters are capable of withstanding a blast from a 1,000-pound bomb. The new generation panes will be designed to withstand the hit by a 2,000-pound bomb, which the IAF apprehend the enemies may be possessing.
Besides, these shelters would be large enough to accommodate Su-30 MKI aircraft and also will have proper maintenance facilities. The shelters would also be fitted with iron doors to minimise the chances of fragmentation damage from a missile strike.
While the proposals are under the consideration of the defence ministry since 2015, officials said the air headquarters had made a fresh pitch for its approval given the rapidly changing security dynamics in India’s neighbourhood.
Construction of hardened blast panes is a key part of the IAF’s plan to improve the infrastructure of its air fields particularly for the bases in the North East and Leh.
Two other components of the plan are to improve the infrastructure in Nyoma and Kargil airfield so that more fighters flying is possible near India’s border with China and Pakistan, respectively.