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IAF's transport aircraft lands in strategically important Pakyong airfield in Sikkim


New Delhi, Jan 17: In a first, an AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force has carried out a successful landing at Sikkim's Pakyong, one of the highest airfields in the country. The military aircraft landed at the airport, located around 60 km from the India-China border, on Wednesday.

An IAF AN-32 aircraft of 43 Sqn carried out a successful landing at Pakyong airfield in Sikkim on 16 Jan, 2019. COurtesy: ANI news

"This is the first landing by an AN-32 class of aircraft at this airfield, which is one of the highest airfields in India," a senior IAF official said.

The crew was led by Wing Commander SK Singh. The Pakyong, situated at 4,500 ft above sea level, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year.

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A Dornier aircraft of the IAF had landed at the airport last year. On January 14, a C-130J aircraft of the IAF had for the first time landed at the Tezu airfield in Arunachal Pradesh. The landing was carried out both during the day and at night with an aim to boost mobility of troops and material in the region.

Following the Doklam standoff in 2017, India has been ramping up infrastructure along the nearly 4,000 km border with China.

In March last year, the IAF's largest transport aircraft - C-17 Globemaster - had landed at Arunachal Pradesh's Tuting airfield which is close to the Chinese border.


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