Monday, September 11, 2023

Indian Rafale, Su-30 MKI Warplanes Set To Operate From World’s Highest Airfield Near China Border

With no signs of tensions easing between the two countries, India on September 12 laid the foundation of its highest airfield along the border. Once completed, it will be the closest air base to the India-China border on the Indian side.

The Indian and Chinese troops have practically been standing eyeball-to-eyeball along the border following the Galwan Valley clash in 2020. Since then, it has been downhill for the bilateral ties, with the tension between the two countries not abating anytime soon.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh laid the foundation of Nyoma Airfield in eastern Ladakh. With just 50 km short of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries, the project will bolster the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) capabilities along the northern frontiers. The project is estimated to cost INR.218 crore.

Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), BRO said, “BRO India will be constructing the World’s highest fighter airfield at Nyoma in Ladakh. Shilanyas of this project will be done by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh on September 12 23 from Devak Bridge in Jammu. Jai Hind! Jai BRO!! (sic)” 

Nyoma has a mud-paved Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) and is unfit for fighter operations. During the ongoing standoff with China, the ALG has proved critical to moving men and material. Chinook heavy lift helicopters, Mi-17 helicopters, and C-130J Special Operations aircraft have been operating from Nyoma to maintain the forward posts in the region.

Nyoma has immense strategic importance and plugs the critical gap between Leh airfield and the LAC, paving the way for swifter movement of men and material in the treacherous terrain. Man-portable air defense missiles Igla has already been deployed here. The IAF has been operating its latest Rafale fighter jets along with MiG-29s in the sector, and they were based in Leh.

12/09/2023 Ritu Sharma/EurAsianTimes

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