IAF chopper lifts army's light field gun in Arunachal

Mi-17 1V helicopter of Indian Air Force (Photo DH/Sumir Karmakar)

 An Mi-17 1V helicopter of Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday lifted a light field gun of the army at Tuting advance landing ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh situated close to China border.

IAF spokesperson at its eastern command headquarters in Shillong (Meghalaya), wing commander Ratnakar Singh said this was for the first time a Mi-17 carried out such a complicated and challenging  operation. "With this the time needed for  deployment of guns at forward post will drastically  reduce in case of any operational contingency," he said.

Sources said the gun will now be transported by army to their post situated close to the border. 

Tuting advance landing ground, situated atop 4,070 feet in Upper Siang district, was reopened by IAF in December 2016. The ALG remained unused since the 1962 Sino-Indian war. 

Six other ALGs were also reopened at 

Aalo, Mechuka, Pasighat, Tawang, Walong and Ziro. These ALG have not only provided a boost to operational capability of the IAF, army and other security agencies but also helped in transporation of goods in the remote and hilly locations in Arunachal Pradesh. The state share borders with China, Myanmar and Bhutan.

India has been trying to improve defence infrastructure along the border as China claims the entire Arunachal Pradesh as part of its Tibet region. The IAF has said it is ready to face any challenge in its eastern frontiers. 

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