Indian Army wants night landing facilities in border airfields


New Delhi : The Indian Army has asked the defence ministry to get about a dozen airfields and advanced landing grounds (ALGs) in Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh upgraded with night landing facilities to improve the transportation of supplies and troops to the sensitive borders areas with China and Pakistan.

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The matter came up for discussion at the five-day army commanders conference that began here Monday.

The top army generals attending the meeting pointed out that the night landing facilities at the airfields and advanced landing grounds would help in much higher carrying capacities for the Indian Air Force (IAF) planes.

“It was brought out that due to low temperatures at night, the carrying capacity of IL-76 (Soviet-era heavylift cargo planes of the IAF) would increase, thus helping in winter stocking as also for operational logistic build up,” an army headquarters statement on the conference said here.

The IAF had in the last three years opened three advanced landing grounds in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region at Daulat Beg Oldi, Fuk Che and Nyoma, close to the Line of Actual Control with China. It is also in the process of opening upgraded ALGs at half-a-dozen locations in Arunachal Pradesh in the near future.

The capacity of the transport planes decrease during the day due to the heat on the ground, particularly at airfields.