New Delhi, Jan 15: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will get its own air wing soon as a few aircraft will given to the force to carry out reconnaissance at the border with China to check incursions by China’s People Liberation Army troops into Indian territory. The ITBP air wing will also keep an eye on Chinese construction activities and troop build-up.
A report said that the force will soon get two twin-engine helicopters, which will be used for recee, transportation of troops, and evacuation of casualties. The aircraft will also help in transporting supplies, and for VIP movement.
The ITBP helicopters will have their bases at Chandigarh and Borjhar (Guwahati) and will cover the entire border with China, covering almost 3,488 km.
The government will soon begin the process for procurement. The helicopters will be required to operate at high-altitudes and will be able to transport 8-10 troopers at a time, apart from carrying supplies. They will also have night-flying capabilities; they will also be required to fly for two hours straight without the need for refueling. The ITBP director general, RK Pachnanda will be the commander of the air wing.
“The move is aimed at keeping an eye on Chinese activities across the border, including construction of roads, building permanent structures in disputed area across the LAC, PLA troop build-up and also to stay informed about transgressions into Indian villages and enhance mobility of our troops, so that there is no delay on our part in case China tries something mischievous,” a home ministry source told TOI.
After the Doklam standoff, the government had vowed to shore up Indian defenses along the border with China. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had promised to modernise ITBP. It is planning to raise nine more battalions in the Indo- Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force to check Chinese activities at the border.