New Delhi: As the Geo political balance in Asia has undergone a sea change, IAF is now strengthening its bases in East with West Bengal as its main force to thwart the Chinese dragon.
Indian air Force is set to renovate its bases and stations in the state and is contemplating rebuilding 12 airstrips as new bases or stations. The IAF has a very large base at Kalaikunda in West Midnapore district, a fighter aircraft base at Hashimara and a fighter aircraft and training base at bagdogra, Both in North Bengal. It also has a helicopter station at Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas, and has recently set up an air base at Panagarh in Burdwan District.
A Massive modernization programme is being conducted at Hashimara, and by phases, the Mig-27 aircraft will be withdrawn. Instead, Multi role aircraft will be inducted into these two squadrons. A Plan has been formulated to strengthen the air base.
The IAF also plans to rebuild runways and airstrips that were used in WW 2 in Asansol, Hijli, Chakulia, Peardoba, Dhubulia, Garbeta, Ghuskara, Jhargram , Kanchrapara, Pandabeshwar, Purulia and Shalboni. These Unused facilities can act as avital air bases and stations to aid the major ones.
After the creation of Bangladesh, the Ministry Of Defence had not paid much attention to strengthen defence establishments in eastern India as the threat perception had deceased . But now, after the activities by Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which had run over the Indian armed forces and entered up to Tezpur in Assam, the ministry felt there is a need to strengthen all armed forces bases in the eastern region.