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IAF to hold massive five-day exercise near border with China

All major airbases in the eastern command will be kept active. All major IAF platforms, including fighter jets, transport aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles, will be deployed during the exercise.

IAF to hold massive five-day exercise near border with China
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First Published Jan 21, 2023, 10:49 AM IST

Indian Air Force will be conducting a five-day command-level exercise in the eastern command to test capabilities on the China front from February 1. This is the second such exercise since the troops of the Indian Army and China's People's Liberation Army clashed at Yangtse under Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang sector on December 9. 

According to sources, all major airbases in the eastern command will be kept active. All major IAF platforms, including fighter jets, transport aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles, will be deployed during the exercise. 

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Last time, the exercise was conducted for two days. Air bases in Assam's Tezpur, Chhabua, Jorhat and West Bengal's Hashimara were activated in the exercise. Fighter jets like Rafale and Sukhoi-30MKI also participated last time. Hashimara airbase is home to the Rafale fighter jets.

The exercise comes just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping conducted a video conversation with PLA personnel deployed along the India-China border in eastern Ladakh and inspected their combat readiness.

During his interaction with personnel stationed at the border defence situation in Khunjerab under the Xinjiang Military Command, Xi mentioned how in recent years, the area has constantly been changing and how it has impacted the Army. 

The PLA personnel reportedly told the Chinese President that they were now carrying out dynamic and 24-hour monitoring of the border.  

Indian and Chinese forces have been engaged in a standoff at multiple points along the Line of Actual Control. The relations were strained when China tried to alter the status quo in the Eastern Ladakh region on May 5, 2020. Following the violent clashes in the Pangong lake area, the two sides have held 17 rounds of high-level military talks and some de-escalation has been achieved.

India has made it clear that it seeks peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control and that this is essential for the overall development of its bilateral relationship with China.

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