India upgrading airbase in north to counter threat from China


New Delhi : India is developing state-of-the art infrastructure in Bareilly, north of India to station its latest aircraft to counter threats, especially from China.

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Media reports quoting Chief Administrative officer of the base Group Captain P V Gadgil while talking to visiting media persons said “Bareilly is strategically located and we are in the process of converting it into a major hub for the Su-30MKIs.

A modern avionics Lab and the biggest modern tech flight hangar are being developed at the base to keep the Sukhois and other allied equipment for its servicing.

Quoting another official, the report said the “multi-role Sukhoi fighters, which have a cruising speed range of 3,200 km coupled with advanced beyond-visual range combat capabilities, are capable of striking deep inside China.”

Another senior officer said the base was strategically very important as “after the Chinese aggression in 1962, it was realised that the area was left out without having any credible air defence capability.” Our army is in the hills now after that aggression. We had to deploy the army more or less continuously and if there is war, somebody has to support the army, whether it’s close air support by fighter aircraft or by helicopters.”

The Su-30MKI, once they are delivered by Russia will start operating at the base.

The officer further said it would take six months to a year to equip the Eight Squadron, already existing at the base with Sukhoi fighters though lot of uncertainties are involved in it. This squadron is without any assets here.

This year, India inked an agreement with Russia for purchase of another 40 Su-30MKI to make up the depleting strength of its fighter squadrons. Another 140 of these fighters, will be built at HAL facilities at Nashik by 2013-2014.

The officer said Russian, Israeli and French equipment are installed in the Lab.