Kalaikunda fighters in charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands defences

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by SpArK, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Kalaikunda fighters in charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands defences


    KALAIKUNDA: The air base at Kalaikunda will now play an extremely crucial role in the country's defences.


    Aircraft based here will be involved in air defence over the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Bay of Bengal. The tri-services command at the A&N Islands will be in charge of the squadrons of Su-30 MKIs and other advanced aircraft based at Kalaikunda for this specific purpose.


    This decision was taken when plans for basing Sukhois in the Andamans got scuttled after the 2004 tsunami in which the IAF lost assets. "Till now, Kalaikunda - while performing several other duties - has been a bridge with the Andamans. The role of the base will grow and aircraft based here will play a vital role in patrolling the skies over the Andamans and the Bay of Bengal. Kalaikunda will play several roles that include air defence, training and building better co-operation in the region for a possible Nato-like alliance with India playing the pivotal role," an official said.


    The Kalaikunda airbase is nestled among forests of Sal in the Maoist badlands of West Midnapore. Set up by the Americans for its Superfortress bombers operating during the Burma campaign, the facility has grown steadily in importance over the years. "A large area falls within the responsibility of this base. There are several bases in the northeast but along the eastern coast, the closest one is in Chennai. It is our job to handle the defences along the coast and the Bay of Bengal region. We play host to several foreign air forces interested in joint exercises with the IAF," the official added.


    "This is a very compact base built in classical American style. The Americans used to operate flights from Kalaikunda, Dudhkundi and Salua. Today, we have a radar station at Salua and Dudhkundi has been converted into an air-to-ground firing range. Over the years, Kalaikunda has developed into a major location for international air exercises. Soon, we shall have the Republic of Singapore Air Force visiting Kalaikunda. The base is close to Bay of Bengal where air-to-air firing can take place," says Air Commodore R Radhish, AOC, Air Force Station, Kalaikunda.


    But Kalaikunda goes well beyond an exercise hub. Apart from the MiG-27 ground attack aircraft and MiG-21 Fn fighters of the OCU, squadrons of Su-30 MKIs and other advanced varieties from the IAF's fleet call on Kalaikunda on a regular basis. A squadron of Su-30 MKIs is now at the base.



    Over the last few years, Delhi has started to realize that China is as great a threat as Pakistan and there has been a rush to upgrade facilities in the eastern and northeastern sector. Fighters from Kalaikunda can fly to the Andamans and beyond for longrange patrols. Unlike older aircraft, the Su-30 MKIs can fly at very slow speeds (nearly that of a helicopter) and carry out surveillance before zooming away at twice the speed of sound.


    "In case of some mischief by our northern neighbour, this is the place where our defences can fall back to. Also this base is playing a crucial role in developing regional cooperation. There may come a time when a Nato-like organization develops here with India playing the role of the US. If this happens, our assets would no longer have to be on their toes for 365 days a year. Pilots of the Nato countries have to be on active duty for only 90 days at a stretch," an IAF official said.




    Kalaikunda fighters in charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands defences - The Economic Times
     
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  3. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    A squadron of Su-30 MKIs is now at the base. ?

    when it came ??

    2 squadron @ Bareilly, 2 @ Pune, 1 @ Jodhpur, 1 @ chabua and 1 @ Tezpur = Total 7 operational. :confused:
     
  4. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    It says regularly call to Kalaikunda...and now it has been decided it will be shifted permanently..

    1 full squadron also coming to Port Blair..:thumb:
     
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  5. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Contract given to Tata , does it cover Andaman , to re-build the base ?
     
  6. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Check the report on NDTV posted in air force news about Andaman special. It talks mainly on the base and future plans.
     
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  7. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    we need a tri force command in andaman and nicobar so a kargil like situation can be dealt with.

    the occupational forces raiding andaman wont come under the net of outlawed and militants they will be coming as full fledged army and navy having proper backing by their masters in beijing. so a late response from mainland can sabotage an entire liberation or defense.
    we need a hawai type base with protection. cant afford pearl harbor too.
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Kalaikunda is also going to be a civil airport in a similar manner as it is in Bagdogra.

    Andaman is already under a triservice command with a naval Flag Officer in command.
     

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