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IAF Chief visits Leh to oversee operations in Ladakh amid escalating border tensions with China

BusinessToday.In     June 19, 2020

Amid escalated tensions between India-China in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, India Air Force (IAF) Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria has visited Leh and Srinagar air bases to review preparedness of the force. IAF is on a high operational alert on the China border.

The IAF Chief started his visit to Leh and Srinagar air bases on Wednesday evening after holding a top security review meeting with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane.

"The IAF Chief went to Leh and Srinagar air base on a two day visit there. The two air bases have now stationed frontline fighter aircraft of the force there from central and south India to tackle the requirements on the China border," top government sources told India Today.

The visit came days after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in pre-meditated and planned attack by Chinese soldiers at Galwan Valley in Ladakh on Monday night. This was the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries.

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Meanwhile, the Air Force has also moved its critical frontline combat aircraft Mirage 2000, which carried out the Balakot air strikes last year, to a base near the Ladakh region from where it can fly over Pangong Tso and other areas in a matter of few minutes. The Su-30 has also moved forward to advance positions from where they can handle any untoward situation in the northern borders.

In a bid to provide air support to Indian Army troops in the eastern Ladakh region, the Apache attack helicopters and the Chinook choppers have also been deployed in the close vicinity of the areas.

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The Leh airfield has also seen deployment of twin engine fighter planes which can carry out operations in high altitude locations.

The frontline air bases in Srinagar, Ambala, Adampur and Halwara have also seen the induction of aircraft with lethal long-range capabilities to carry out operations in the last few days.

The Air Force base in Bareilly is also on high alert for operations around the Tibet region.  Air Force has also activated its air bases in the northeastern states to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese army.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold an all-party meeting today to discuss the situation on the country's border with China.

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