IAF wants to further strengthen its Air Bases on foreign land

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New Delhi, 03 January: Just 16 km from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Tajikistan wants to further strengthen both its airbases in terms of ‘two front war’.

These two Airbases are strategically important because from here India always keeps an eye on the antics of Pakistan and China.

According to the sources, ‘Ayni’ Air Force Base currently has three Indian Air Force helicopters whereas two squadrons of MiG-29 aircraft have been placed at ‘Farkhor’. Both these airbases built on foreign land have given great strength to India on the fronts of Pakistan and China.

The Indian Air Force maintains two airbases at ‘Ayani’ and ‘Farkhor’ in Tajikistan. For India, both these airbases are important for strategic reasons because from here the movements of Pakistan and China can be monitored simultaneously.

Tajikistan borders China, Afghanistan and PoK. The border from China to Tajikistan is 520 km. 1,420 km with Afghanistan. Afghan-Wakhan Corridor 16 km Is long. This means that the distance between Tajikistan and PoK is just 16 km.

And at the same time, China wants to build its army base near the Wakhan Corridor. Here China shares the border with Afghanistan. It is the most suitable place to keep an eye on Tajikistan, Pakistan and China from here on ‘Siachen’ and POK. From here the IAF can reach Pakistan in a few minutes.

Ayni Air Force Base

Ayni Air Base is just 10 km from Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. It is also known as Gissar Air Base. It was used by the Soviet Union as its air base during the Second World War but remained unusable thereafter. For the last 13 years, military cooperation between India and Tajikistan has been going on at Ayni Air Base. India spent around $ 70 million from 2002 to 2010 to rebuild and modernize the air base.

Not only this, India has extended the runway to 3,200 meters during the reconstruction. Pakistan is deeply troubled by India’s presence in Tajikistan and has also lodged a protest with the Tajikistan government in this regard. Through these air bases, India keeps an eye on the internal situation of Afghanistan and is able to help the Northern Alliance Army of Afghanistan in the most difficult times.

Farkhor Air Force Base

Tajikistan’s second important air base is 130 km south-east from the capital Dushanbe in Farkhor. In 1996–97, Indian intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) conducted a joint operation with the Afghan Northern Alliance here. Here RAW not only used to gather intelligence, but India also started a small military hospital here, which is also called Maitri Hospital. Here the soldiers of the Afghan Northern Alliance, who were wounded in the fight with the Taliban, were treated. Since then it has been recognized as India’s air base.

Two squadrons of MiG-29 aircraft of the Indian Air Force are stationed here. Presently, India is providing medical facilities for Tajikistan Army and Civilians here.

The Indian Air Force chief said that this Ayni Air Base in Tajikistan has given us great capability to operate air from there and has great strategic importance. India has installed state-of-the-art air defense equipment during the renovation of the air base. The Air Force has deployed three Mi-17 helicopters at the Ayni Air Base but India cannot proceed with plans to deploy some jets and Troops there, as Russia and Tajikistan patrol the skies and a motorized rifle division.There is no such center of any other country in the strategically important Tajikistan at present