India flexes a muscle, lands super aircraft at Aksai Chin base

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New Delhi, Aug 20: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday flew a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Aksai Chin area in eastern Ladakh. Sources said commanding officer Group Captain Tejbir Singh and the crew of the Veiled Vipers flew along with senior Air Headquarters officers reached the airstrip located at an altitude of 16,614 feet after taking off from Hindon, their home base in Uttar Pradesh.

India and China have witnessed a tense relation in the recent times in the wake of repeated Chinese incursions in the Ladakh area. The issue had also cast a shadow over the visit by the new Chinese premiere to India a few months ago.

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The Daulat Beg airstrip is an important army post and was built during the Sino-Indo conflict of 1962. It came to the headlines after the IAF's Packet aircraft operated from this base between 1962 and 1965.

IAF sources said the strategic base was resurrected jointly by the IAF and the Indian Army and a twin engine AN-32 aircraft reached here from Chandigarh in 2008, after over four decades. It was later decided that the C-130J would be landed at the base instead of AN-32 aircrafts and helicopters for it has a high load-carrying capacity. The Cl-130J will be more helpful for the land forces stationed in the area by meeting their requirements. It will also help boost the communication network in the inhospitable border areas.

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