Chocking China, Air strips are ready
Indian air force plans to revamp fortification in the recently modernized air fields close to Chinese borders in Kashmir and eastern Arunachal. Earlier the government allocated nearly $2.4 billions to modernize the abandoned air field's close to china and increase the facilities like other air bases in Leh, Kargil and Tezpur which is also close to the Chinese border.
After the 1962 war, China and India agreed to demilitarize upto 20 kilometer from each side from the line of actual control. Many airfields who used to supply the troops in 1962 also abandoned.However later years both China and India started construction of defense fortification and air bases close to border, After heavy pressure from Indian Military leaders, India too accelerated such constructions.
In 1962, during the war, China is well prepared to conduct the offensive, with good supply routes and transportation. Chinese started such construction early 1959, when they attempted to seize the Tibet later years. China also smelled that India also readying for war, with the inputs from Indian patrols in Aksai Shin.
The abandoned air fields are very well suited for operating medium sized cargo aircraft's, Earlier those Airstrips are well used by the American C 130 and DC 3 turboprops. They were not capable to launch fighter jets, since operating a fighter jets from an air base need lost of support equipment's.
In the western air command, IAF has two full fledged air force bases, that can operate fighter jets and all other military aircraft's. Kargil airbase currently in second phase of construction, which would be completed within next two years. Leh is the other base, which operates a squadron of fighter jets along with special mission aircraft's. Both theses are located very closely to the Chinese border 200 and 100 kilometers respectively.
IAF also has five airstrips who are lying very closely within the Chinese border, IAF already modernized the three air strips named, Thoise, Daulat Beg Oldie, and Nyoma. these three are almost constructed like a large airbase. Year's ago IAF shows it's pride by landing the Lockheed C 130 J in DBO strip. The earlier pictures seems quite good, It's believed under the new program it's fine tuned to operate many other cargo aircraft's.
Thoise air base construction also completed, with improved runway and modern equipemts, who also serve as a key supply line to the frontier troops. It's believed the air strip is modernized to carry out fighter jet sorties too, Due to the national security, information's about Thoise remain classified.
Nyoma is also in full fledged construction, It was earlier assisted the IAF's An 32 landing's. all the above said three air strips are modernized to support all kind of military transports like An 32 to C 17 globe master.
Two other air strips named Fukche and Chusul also in modernization, those will act as a forward operating base in case of war with China, both are well close to the Chinese border, just 10 kilometers from the border, These are the two air strips who currently assist the BRO-Border Road Organization to build road ways along the borders who connects the border outposts with air strips.
Compared to Ladakh region, Arunachal is more vulnerable by the Chinese, due to the geographical conditions. During the 1962 Chinese almost comes close to Darjeeling, Tuting and Tawang, Even so the walong air strip is completely overrun by the Chinese, After the Chinese ceasefire, China pulled back from the captured lands. Walong is just 12 miles away from the Chinese border.
Many of the older, abandoned air strips are already revamped and operational. In Arunachal there were eight fully operational landing grounds, All of them can support IAF's An 32 Tactical air lifter. which can carry troops and cargo's. IAF also plans to buy more than fifty plus tactical lifter based on the C 295, However the plans is still on limbo, ( C 295 article found here ).
Eastern borders also have some good airbases, housing modern fighter jets like Su 30 MKI and MiG 29 UPG's. Tezpur in Arunachal have a squadron of Su 30 MKI, and IAF plans to add another two squadron of MKI's close to other bases in Arunachal, Jorhat and Chauba in consideration. These bases also well protected by the Israeli supplied long range radar's and SpyDer LLQRM missile systems. ( SpyDer Article )
These air defense batteries can provide air cover to the airbases along the Chinese border's. China also fortifies the Lhasa and Shannan province with modern Chinese copy of Russian Su 30's. China also planning to replace those fighters with new Russian Su 35 fighter jets.
Chinese positions are also well protected by Chinese copy of Russian S 300. China plans to replace those systems by Russian S 400 long range missile defense systems, They plans to field two regiments of S 400 each close to Ladakh and Aruncahal which posing serious threats to the every air strips and air bases listed above. ( The Chinese s 400 deployment article )
Meanwhile, India plans to fortify these air bases with Indo Israeli made MR SAM which is a derivative of Barak 8 missile defense system. It's clear when using these airstrips, The first mission always taking out Russian supplied S 400 before doing any airborne mission in these regions.