The Air Force will keep additional Hawk fighter aircraft at its Kalaikunda base in West Midnapore district and develop its Panagarh base in Burdwan district for full-fledged air operations, Chief of Eastern Air Command (EAC), Air Marshal PK Barbora said.
"We intend to put about 40-odd Hawk aircraft at Kalaikunda. Panagarh will be developed as a full-scale base for operations with the addition of heavy fighter aircraft and force multipliers," he told reporters here.
Air Force Station Kalaikunda, which has been upgraded to international standards, has witnessed a series of bilateral air exercises, including those with the US and France.
The Panagarh base, once upgraded, would have Air-to-Air Refuellers, besides Light Combat Aircraft and Medium Range Combat Aircraft.
Pointing out that the EAC has begun induction of Sukhois, he said two squadrons of the aircraft would be inducted into the command within 2009.
Barobora, who had introduced night landing of aircraft in the northeast, said it would go a long way in helping quick troop movement during the night.
"This has been a great morale booster for our boys. Recently, we airlifted a patient from Kibitu (the highest Indian post bordering China in Arunachal Pradesh) and we could save his life. Besides, this is a dissuasive stand for those intending to attack us," he said.