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India to boost air defence on China border

India will boost its air defence capabilities along the China border with the induction of a series of new lightweight mountain radars.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 26, 2009 9:27:39 am

India will boost its air defence capabilities along the China border with the induction of a series of new lightweight mountain radars and the strengthening of an advanced landing ground for possible future fighter operations.

A top Air Force officer who is in charge of operations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) said on Friday that the country is acquiring new lightweight radars to increase its awareness along the Pakistan and China border and will progressively induct new aircraft like the Su-30 MKI at airbases in northern India.

“We are looking at lightweight (mountain) radars and have,in fact,contracted for 19 of them. The Western Air Command already has them and we are getting more next year. Over the next 4-5 years,we are looking at different kinds of sensors and systems to detect aircraft,” Western Air Command Chief Air Marshal NAK Browne said.

The officer,slated to take over as the next Air Chief,dismissed recent reports of incursions by Chinese fighter jets and termed flight operations along the LAC as “routine”. “It is their side of the LAC. They have full freedom,just as we have,to operate in their area,” he said.

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The officer said that there are no plans to activate new landing grounds in Ladakh after opening DBO (Daulat Beg Oldie),Fukche and Nyoma in the past two years,but there is a “high possibility” that the Nyoma landing ground,which was activated last week,may be used for fighter operations in the future if it gets concretised.

Browne said that fighter operations at the base would give the Air Force more options.

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