Amid reports of China building new military infrastructure on its side, India is soon going to begin the construction work for upgrading its Nyoma advanced landing ground for fighter aircraft operations less than 50 kilometres from the LAC in eastern Ladakh, said Indian Army officials on Thursday.
The Nyoma airfield has been used for the transportation of men and materiel during the ongoing stand-off with China and has seen operations of Chinook heavy-lift choppers and C-130J Special Operations aircraft.
“The ALG is going to be soon upgraded for fighter aircraft operations as most of the required clearances and approvals have come already. As per plans, the construction of the new airfield and the military infrastructure would be done by the Border Roads Organisation,” senior defence officials told ANI.
The capability of operating fighter aircraft from this area would strengthen the Air Force’s ability to tackle any misadventures by the adversary in a faster way.
The inauguration of the construction work is expected to begin soon in the eastern Ladakh sector after the clearances by the Modi government in the area, they said.
India has been considering multiple options for developing airfields in eastern Ladakh including Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), Fukche and Nyoma which are at a distance of a few minutes from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
The Nyoma Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) has seen operations of the Apache attack helicopters, Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and the Garud special forces operations from Mi-17 helicopters.
Recently, IAF Group Captain Ajay Rathi explained the importance of having an advanced landing ground such as Nyoma.
“Nyoma ALG has strategic importance due to its close proximity to the Line of Actual Control. It bridges the critical gap between Leh airfield and the LAC enabling quick movement of men and material in eastern Ladakh, overcoming terrain friction,” Rathi had said.
The Nyoma airbase Chief Operations Officer said the ALG will “further help in quicker access to the heights and sustenance operations thereafter. The air operations infrastructure at Nyoma enhances the operations capability of forces.”
The Air Force also has deployed the Igla man-portable air defence missiles to tackle any aerial incursion by any adversary aircraft. The Indian Air Force has been regularly deploying fighter aircraft including the Rafale and MiG-29s to carry out operations in eastern Ladakh where there has been disengagement of troops at multiple locations
The Chinese have been amassing troops since 2020 and carried out aggression in the garb of an exercise after which the Indian security forces retaliated in equal measure and checked the Chinese aggression there. The Indian Air Force is also continuing to maintain its assets in Leh along with a massive upgrade of capabilities in the area. (ANI)