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 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, army officials said today.
The Nyoma airfield has been used to transport soldiers and supplies during the ongoing standoff with China and has seen operations of Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and C-130J transport aircraft.
“The ALG (advanced landing ground) 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 (BRO),” a defence officer told ANI.
The capability of operating fighter aircraft from this area would strengthen the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) ability to tackle any misadventures by India’s enemies in a faster way.
The construction work will be inaugurated soon after the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives the clearances.
India has been considering multiple options for developing airfields in eastern Ladakh including Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), Fukche and Nyoma, just a few minutes from the LAC.
The Nyoma advanced landing ground (ALG) has seen operations of the Apache attack helicopters, Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and the Garud special forces from Mi-17 helicopters.
Recently, Indian Air Force 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,” Captain 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 IAF has deployed the Igla man-portable air defence missiles to tackle any aerial incursion. The air force has been regularly deploying fighter aircraft including the Rafale and MiG-29s to carry out operations in eastern Ladakh. Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at multiple locations in this region.