sukhoi 30 mki
Arunachal Pradesh: Sukhoi-30 MKIs land at advanced airfield inauguration Pictured: Su-30MKI SB-043 from 30Sq "Rhinos" Indian AFWikimedia Commons

In a bid to increase India's readiness in countering China's aggression at the Arunachal Pradesh border, the Pasighat advanced landing ground (ALG) was made operational on Friday. Sukhoi-30 MKIs landed on the ALG for the inaugural.

The ALG was inaugurated by Minister of State Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Friday. All aircrafts and helicopters, including Su-30 and transport aircraft C-130 J, can be landed at the Pasighat landing ground.

"The ALG would enhance air support capability for the Army, paramilitary forces and the civil administration and would facilitate air connectivity for the people of Arunachal Pradesh with the rest of the country," Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.

The Indian Airforce (IAF) called the landing of the Sukhoi-30 a "historic first," in a statement.

Many ALGs have been made functional in Arunachal Pradesh recently. Walong, Ziro, Along and Mechuka ALGs were upgraded and made functional. Two others, Tuting and Tawang, will be made operational by the end of 2016. The IAF is waiting for road connectivity to be restored between Miao and Vijaynagar to upgrade another ALG at Vijaynagar, the New Indian Express reported.

Rijiju tweeted on Saturday about the advanced landing ground saying "A new chapter & a red-letter day for India. A strongly protected border, well secured sky means a safe India.[sic]" He also said that Chinese troops had transgressed into India twice in July.

The Pasighat ALG is located in a strategic area, close to the China border.

In July, reports had said that Chinese troops had crossed into Uttarakhand. However, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar rubbished the reports saying it was a transgression as the border was not clearly defined between the two countries.

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