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IAF upgrading six airstrips in Arunachal

October 01, 2009 18:15 IST

Indian Air Force is upgrading six airstrips in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China to improve its capabilities to move troops there quickly, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said on Thursday.

Naik said these airstrips, called Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs), would be to augment the IAF's air maintenance in the border state on the pattern of the three new ALGs made operational in Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir and in the western region bordering Pakistan in the last two years.

The IAF has opened the Daulat Beig Oldi, Fukche and Nyoma ALGs in Ladakh since May last year. Among the new ALGs in Arunachal Pradesh to be upgraded are Along, Walong and Machuka.

"It is long overdue. These should have been done much earlier. But we got a go-ahead only now and we are undertaking this particular task," he said.

On whether a repeat of Sino-Indian war of 1962 was possible, he said, "I do not think it is possible now".

"I am confident, are you?" he said, when asked if he was confident of warding off the Chinese threat.

"I am sure there should be no lack of confidence in our public as far as preparation of our country or armed forces is concerned for any eventuality," he said.

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