The Indian Air Force Air Force Friday wrote a new chapter in India’s defence history when a Sukhoi fighter aircraft, the most powerful warship available with the Air Force, made its first touchdown at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, a state that shares a 1,090-km international boundary with China.
The Sukhoi aircraft’s landing marked the ceremonial inauguration of the upgraded and renovated Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Pasighat, the oldest town in the state.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the ALG in the presence of Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Air Command.
Also present was singer Asha Bhosle, who flew in from Bomdila, where she had gone to interact with defence personnel on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan Thursday.
Calling it a red-letter day in Arunachal Pradesh’s history, Rijiju said the upgraded ALG, about 120 km from the China border as the crow flies, will not only be a strategic asset for the Air Force but also provide valuable back-up to a state where surface connectivity is still a major problem.
The Sukhoi touchdown took place at 10.45 am, and was preceded by a flypast by formations of three other Sukhoi-30 MKI Ai Dominance Fighter aircraft that took off from one of the forward bases of the IAF in the Northeast.
“The touchdown by a frontline fighter jet of the Air Force at the Pasighat ALG is a historic first in the predominantly hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, which has several ALGs at varying altitudes,” an IAF official said.
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