The Indian Air Force's most lethal aircraft, Sukhoi-30MKI, made its first landing at Pasighat in the West Siang district of India's northeastern state Arunachal Pradesh, marking the inauguration of an Advanced Landing Ground (AGL) just 100 kilometers away from the Chinese border.
Kiren Rijiju, India's Minister of State for Home Affairs, who belongs to Arunachal Pradesh, officially inaugurated the refurbished airfield. The advance landing ground at Pasighat has remained unused since the Sino-Indian war of 1962.
Group Captain Mohonto Panging (retired) was present on the inaugural ceremony. Panging is from Arunachal Pradesh and belongs to the original lot of Sukhoi pilots who underwent training in Moscow and later went to Russia to bring first batch of 12 Sukhoi fighter jets to India in 1997.
Arunachal Pradesh has 1,680 km of international border, of which 1080 km is with China. India will upgrade two more Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. Sources from the Ministry of Defense told Sputnik, “Work on Tuting is near its completion. More than 75% upgrade work has been done and expected to become operational by end of this year.”
Meanwhile, another ALG project at Tawang, which was taken up in 2014, is underway and is expected to be ready by the first quarter of next year. In May this year, India's Ministry of Defense informed the Standing Committee of Parliament that 24% physical progress had been completed. Earlier in March and May this year, upgraded ALGs were inaugurated in Mechuka, Ziro, Along and Wallong in India's northeast.