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Speed up infrastructure on Indo-Sino border: IAF
Correspondent SHILLONG, NOV 23:
Published on 24 Nov. 2009 12:07 AM IST
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The Indian Air Force (IAF) today asked New Delhi to speed up its infrastructure development along Indo-Sino border to keep pace with its hostile neighbour, China. “The pace of the infrastructure development along the Indo-Sino border was slow and needs to be increase,” Air Officer-in-Commanding of Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal SK Bhan said. He, however, said that Arunachal Pradesh government and Ministry of Defence had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to upgrade the Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in that state which would boost operations of the IAF. “The Arunachal Pradesh government is in the process of acquiring land to upgrade the three existing ALGs (Mechuk, Along and Vijayanagar.) The construction would be taken up by renowned companies such as Larsen and Toubro and others,” Air Marshal Bhan told reporters here on occasion of EAC’s golden jubilee celebrations. Once the ALGs are upgraded, he said the IAF foresee that ATRs, heavy helicopters and other modern assets of the force would be able to operate more efficiently in the eastern sector. “As of now we EAC are depending on the Western Command for air support as of now, but by 2015 the EAC would be fully be able to function more independently,” the AOC-in-C said. “India is purchasing 121 aircrafts some of these would be deployed in the eastern sector. Moreover new missiles, radars, communication systems and modern avionics would be also be deployed here latest by 2015. This would reduce dependence on the Western Air Command,” Air Marshal Bhan informed. The EAC was formed as one of the five operational commands in the country in 1958. It was subsequently made into a Commanded headquarters and re-located from Kolkata to here in Shillong in 1963 after the Chinese invasion in 1962. “There is no threat from China our defence capabilities are fully geared up. The full squadron of the Sukhois would be deployed by March this year,” he said about the defence capabilities of the IAF in this sector. not prepared to induct women fighter pilot The Indian Air Force is yet to be convinced that women can withstand G-force and take up a combatant’s role in a fighter aircraft. “The fighters are single cockpit aircrafts and once a woman goes on maternity leave the question of availability arises,” Air Marshal SK Bhan said. Echoing Air vice chief PK Barbora recent remarks over the induction of women fighter pilots into the IAF, Air Marshal Bhan said, “Six months of maternity leave would be a loss for the IAF, even though women in the IAF are doing a great job.” Recently, Air Vice Chief Marshal Barbora had said that induction of women as a fighter pilot would be a loss for the IAF simply because they might go on maternity leave, which in turn cause loss for the IAF spending huge amount to train fighter pilots. He later apologised for this statement. Air Marshal Bhan, however, had also a different take on the subject and said that women were inducted into the IAF in 1995 and this tenure was too short to judge whether women were actually capable of flying the Sukhois and other supersonic aircrafts physiologically. When asked that US, China Israel and some other countries had women in the role of fighter pilot; the AOC-in-C said the United States was “re-thinking” to withdraw women as fighter pilots, although women had assumed the role of a combatant for many years in the US. Interestingly, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Force, Pratibha Patil has been given the green signal by the IAF to fly a Sukhoi recently if “medically fit.”

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