New Delhi (Sputnik) — India has decided to position its six C-130J in Panagarh in West Bengal to improve the mobility of armed forces on the border with China. The location is some distance away from the border but within easy reach of the planes earmarked for special operations and rapid troop redeployment.
“The second squadron of C-130J would be located at Panagarh. The flying will start by March-April 2017,” Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said ahead of his retirement on December 31. Currently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) operates a fleet of five C-130J-30s and will receive an additional six C-130J-30s in year 2017. The IAF uses its C-130Js to support a variety of missions, from logistics support to providing vital humanitarian aid.
The IAF may also relocate its refueling tankers at Panagarh. The US Air Force had constructed the Panagarh airfield in 1944 during the Second World War as a part of China Burma India Campaign.