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IAF to reactivate airfield in Arunachal Pradesh

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Indian Air Force, from Friday, will be able to operate the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from an upgraded airfield in Arunachal Pradesh.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Against the backdrop of Chinese military infrastructure build up along its borders, India on Friday will activate an airfield in Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh from where it will be able to operate its latest C-130J Hercules transport aircraft.

"The use of this airfield was discontinued in 2009 for carrying put repairs there. The airfield will be reactivated tomorrow by Arunachal Pradesh Governor General (retd) J J Singh," IAF officials said here.

After repairs, the airfield-- situated on the easternmost tip of the country located at the tri-junction of India, China and Myanmar, will be able to operate the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft along with the Antonov-32 cargo planes in the IAF inventory, they added.

The airfield is used for air maintenance and will help in mobilising troops and equipment at a faster pace in times of requirement.

This is the first ALG in the Northeast to be upgraded as part of India's efforts to match Chinese military infrastructure development activities. It is also upgrading ALGs in Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting and Ziro as well as several helipads in Arunachal.

IAF has so far activated its ALGs in Ladakh including Nyoma, Daulat Beg Oldi and Fukche and is planning to convert Nyoma in to a full-fledged air base.

India is also planning to raise a new Mountain Strike Corps after raising two new mountain infantry divisions to increase man power in the Northeast.

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