In response, the Indian Air Force activated its assets as per standard operating procedures
New Delhi: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flew its aircraft close to the Indian positions at one of the friction points at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh in the last week of June, it has been learnt. In response, the Indian Air Force activated its assets as per standard operating procedures.
The aircraft, which flew near the Indian position early morning at 4 am, was detected by the men on ground and Indian radars. This led to the Indian Air Force activating its assets for any eventuality. This incident happened as the Chinese military is carrying out exercises involving its fighter jets and other assets, including the Russian S-400 air defence system near the Ladakh sector.
The Indian forces have taken up the issue with the PLA, with whom the Army has been conducting prolonged negotiations for the past two years in a bid to resolve the ongoing standoff between the two armies in eastern Ladakh.
It should be noted the IAF’s Western Air Command, which is in charge of the sector, also has French Rafale fighter jets to take on any challenge. India has also deployed the Aakash air defence system in this sector.
The Indian troops in the region are also equipped with Russian-origin Igla shoulder-fired air defence missiles on the crucial heights.
China has upgraded its airbases near Ladakh and has deployed a number of aircraft and UAVs in the region.
The Indian Air Force, however, has a geographical advantage over the PLAAF in Ladakh as the Chinese jets must fly and take off from very high-altitude bases while the Indian jets can take off from the plains and reach the mountainous region swiftly. Since the air is thin at those heights, the Chinese jets have to carry a lower load, which affects their operational capabilities.
Last year the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, had said the Chinese Air Force’s capability to launch multi-mission sorties from such high-altitude airfields will remain its weak point.