The IAF has succeeded in short-field landing of the mighty C-17 Globemaster aircraft at high-altitude Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunchal Pradesh near the border with China, an official statement said.

This underlined yet again the Indian Air Force’s capability to reach out to the remote ALG located at Mechuka in the Yargyap river valley of West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, just 29 km from the India-China border, it said.

The ALG, situated at an altitude of 6,200 feet with a landing surface of only 4,200 feet, was recently upgraded.

The road connectivity to the nearest air/rail head at Dibrugarh, about 500 km away, is generally involves two days of travel, if the roads are not damaged due to frequent landslides.

“This is a quantum jump from the existing capability of AN-32 and C-130J aircraft. Such airlift capability facilitates speedy transfer of men and material in this rugged terrain, interspersed with valleys and high mountain ranges that inhibit road connectivity.

“In the event of a disaster in the region, C-17 operations to the remote ALG can enhance the speed and quantum of national relief effort,” said the IAF statement.

The IAF said it has plans to validate airlift operations to and from various ALGs in the region that would usher in a new dimension in enhanced disaster response.

“This trial landing is expected to pave the way for operation of civil flights operating to and from the newly upgraded ALGs, which hold enormous potential to boost tourism by improving connectivity to remote locations in the north-east,” the statement said.

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