The Indian Air Force is inching closer to deploying fighters at a strategic airbase near the Chinese border in northeastern Ladakh.
IAF chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne said on Monday that the defence ministry had okayed plans to ramp up the Nyoma airbase.
“It will give us a fair amount of offensive and defensive options. The proposal is awaiting clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security,” he said at a press conference.
The Nyoma airstrip, barely 20 km from the LAC between India and China, was activated two years back after more than four decades with the symbolic landing of an AN-32 plane.
The IAF wants to expand Nyoma, located at a height of 13,300 feet, into a major airbase from where it can operate every platform in its inventory including C-17 heavy-lift planes and C-130J Super Hercules airlifters for special operations.
Browne said plans were afoot to upgrade the Kargil airstrip to operate heavy-lift transport planes and some fighter aircraft in due course.