China building fighter aircraft base near Ladakh

New Delhi, July 20 (KMS): China is developing an airbase for fighter aircraft operations close to the eastern Ladakh area in Shakche town in the Xinjiang province, reported Indian media.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the media citing government sources said the base is coming up between the existing airbases of Kashgar and Hogan which have been carrying out fighter operations along the Indian borders for a long time. The sources said that this new base for fighter operations will fill up the gap for the Chinese Air Force in this region.

The base would be ready for fighter aircraft operations in near future and the work has been expedited on it. Reportedly, the gap between the existing air bases in China close to the LAC for fighter aircraft operations was around 400 km but this would be bridged with the operationalisation of the Shakche airfield.

China has brought in a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles on another airfield near the Uttarakhand border in Barahoti which are continuously flying in that region.

Recently, the Chinese Air Force held an exercise in the new inning of the summer near the Indian territories and the sorties were undertaken by them mainly from the Hogan, Kashgar and Gar Gunsa airfields. The drills were watched closely by the Indian side, the sources added.

The Chinese side has strengthened its air defence further in the area with the deployment of their S-400 air defence systems imported from Russia even as India has deployed a large number of systems.