The Indian Air Force (IAF) has sown itself as ready for war by conducting drills of its MiG-29's, Apache helicopters and other aircraft in strategically-important border regions.
On Tuesday, the IAF landed a twin engine AN-32 transport aircraft, and military chopper Mi17 at Chinyalisaur airstrip in Uttarakhand, around 120 kilometers from the border with China.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the deployment with the head of the Border Road Organisation, which undertakes road development projects in the area. China has raised objections to India’s infrastructure development efforts along the LAC.
The Border Road Organisation is working on 17 highways along China's border, which could be used as potential airstrips for fighter jets in war-like situations. These highways will also have weapons storage dumps, landing lights, fuel, and firefighting equipment.
There are also 63 road projects and three railway projects underway from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh, all of which provide improved access to the Chinese border.
The IAF is also conducting night-time air patrols over the Eastern Ladakh region, Indian news agency ANI reported. The night-time operations include patrols of MiG-29s, Sukhoi-30MKIs, Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy lift helicopters.
“Night operations have inherent element of surprise. IAF is fully trained and ready to undertake entire spectrum of operations in any environment with the help of modern platforms and motivated personnel,” Group Captain A Rathi, senior fighter pilot at a forward air base near India-China border, was quoted as saying by ANI.
The border situation escalated after the 15 June skirmish in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. Following talks on 6 July, troops from both sides in the Galwan Valley have moved further apart, but heavy armour continues to be deployed on both sides of the LAC.