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Tibet : China deploys large number of Fighter Jets, Helicopters in airbases near Indian border

Source : Times Now
Tibet : China deploys large number of Fighter Jets, Helicopters in airbases near Indian border
J-16 Flankers at an airfield in Tibet. (File Photo)

Tibet : China deploys large number of Fighter Jets, Helicopters in airbases near Indian border

Beijing: China has placed a large number of fighters, helicopters and importantly, an airborne early warning and control system and an air-to-air refueling aircraft in three airfields in Tibet, reports say.
Over a dozen fighters, 37 helicopters and a dozen UAVs have been seen so far in Lhasa and Hoping/Shigatse. The warplanes in Lhasa are of different types and capabilities and include four J-10 Vigorous Dragons, a multi-role fighter, ten Shenyang J-11s, a twin-engine air superiority fighter similar to the Russian Su-27, and two J-7, which is comparable with the MiG-21–a plane India still has
Along with them is a Shaanxi KJ-500, an airborne early warning and control aircraft. It is a relatively modern version and can help the PLA Air Force to locate Indian aircraft. There is also a long-range air-to-air refueling aircraft, the Y-20-U. This is a particularly important plane for the Chinese as the high altitude of the Tibet plateau makes it difficult for planes to carry full loads. As a result, the presence of an air-to-air refuelling aircraft is particularly important. It is an effort, experts say, to “offset geography.”
Along with that, the PLAAF has moved 37 helicopters and a dozen UAVs. The UAVs are, of course, for reconnaissance. The likely reason for the presence of as many fighters as well as an eye-in-the-sky and a refueling plane is an exercise. But over the years, the Chinese have built up the airfields in terms of ensuring they can have more planes throughout the year. The “winter capability” of the PLAAF in Tibet has been built up over the years.
The presence is also important keeping in mind the situation in Ladakh. While, much of the disengagement has been carried out since the Chinese PLA fought with Indian soldiers in east Ladakh two years ago, the deescalation process– of moving out Chinese soldiers to their original positions–remains to be done. IgMp

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