The defence ministry will establish a huge Air Force base close to the international border in Rajasthan, moving aggressively to secure the country’s western frontiers. The 300-km range supersonic cruise missile BrahMos will be stored at this base, defence ministry sources said. The ministry is acquiring land in Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts, where the Indian Air Force will store some of its most sophisticated long-range missiles. The base will be the IAF’s biggest practice station. Defence Estate Officer KJS Chauhan confirmed the acquisition process of 29,562 acres at Hanumangarh, around 120-125 km from the border with Pakistan. The IAF has a station in Jodhpur, about 350 km from the border. According to defence ministry sources, IAF has two projects proposed for the land: Project Richard and Project Thukrana. Project Richard involves setting up a missile base. The BrahMos missiles will not only be stationed but also stocked there. Under Project Thukrana, the defence ministry will set up an air force practice station, the biggest close to an international border in the country, ministry sources said. Mugdha Sinha, who was collector of Hanumangarh till last week, said, “Hurdles for the acquisition have been almost sorted out with farmers.” The defence ministry will spend more than Rs220 crore towards compensation and rehabilitation of the residents of Moter, Dhandhusur, Bannasur, Bangasur and Dheerdeshur villages.