Adilabad: India's forgotten air-asset

tarunraju

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Adilabad is a northern district of Andhra Pradesh, and the northern-most tip of South India. It shares border with Maharashtra and Chattisgarh. Throughout India's military history, it has held a small but significant status. During the world-wars, it provided an airfield to the Royal Airforce, as it allowed interior air-defense. Under the Hyderabad State, although for a very brief period the airfield held even more importance, as northern air defense against India. After Hyderabad's successful integration into the India Union, Adilabad lost a big chunk of its strategic importance, and with it, this airfield was abandoned.

Today this land, still leveled, and having its boundaries demarcated from surrounding agricultural lands and the town of Adilabad (district HQ), is in danger of being converted into civil land (I don't know if it is defense land anymore), and eaten up by the goons in the real-estate industry. I really don't want to see that happen. That land still holds the potential to set up an airbase deep within Indian territory, that can be used to help in safekeeping of new aircraft, pilot-training, and more importantly, training IAF personnel to cope in the kind of terrain Adilabad has.

Speaking of which, Adilabad and Southern Vidharba region of Maharashtra in general, is known for a hilly terrain rich in tropical forests, and known torrential rains during the monsoons. During this time of the year, the terrain resembles that of India's north-east the most. Setting up an IAF airbase here would serve in training our aircrafts, transporter/refueller aircrafts, gunships and helicopters to cope in NE-like terrain, with far greater safety. Adilabad is well-connected with the rest of the country. It is AP's northern checkpost of National Highway 7, and has broad-gauge rail-line in South Central Railway's Nanded division. There are direct, daily express trains to Mumbai, Nagpur, and Hyderabad (Secunderabad JN).

I'm planning to write to the Ministry of Defense as just another citizen. I want to convince it to retain this air-asset as it will do more good to the country than being eaten up by land-sharks. That is a HUGE land, which can hold a very long runway, and there's room for even 2~3 sqns of fighter aircraft, if the need be. I would like to know the opinion of the community.

Here are some maps of where it's located, with satellite pics:









I plan to go to Adilabad next month. I might grab some actual pictures of the land, and the terrain of that place it general. You just have to see how it resembles the terrain of NE.
 

RPK

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Bidar airforce station is only 310 kms from this town. Why we need two station very near? we can make use Bidar station to take off & train at Adilabad come back.
 

tarunraju

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I know Bidar is close, Nagpur, Hakimpet (Secuderabad) and Dundigal (Hyderabad) are even closer. The point in this airfield is that it's located in a sort of valley, surrounded by hilly, densely-forested terrain. It will allow in intensive training of air and ground troops to cope with it. It can also serve for training of heavy aircraft such as transporters, refuelers, etc., in harsh conditions, not to mention helicopters.

Are you going to fly troops and aircraft 600 km to-and-fro to train, or are you going to setup base there, so large-scale training can be conducted?
 

RPK

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My point is why we another air station there, since we have other airforce station very close. why we use the same it is waste of money to build & maintain airforce station.
 

tarunraju

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My point is why we another air station there, since we have other airforce station very close. why we use the same it is waste of money to build & maintain airforce station.
IAF stations in Nagpur and Hyderabad are space-constrained, and offer generic-training of personnel to Indian conditions. IAF stations such as Tezpur on the other hand, are forward outposts that are always under a security threat, same applies to airfields along our NW border. Setting up an airbase here provides greater flexibility to the IAF for intensive training in simulated conditions. Flying all the way from nearby AF bases only amounts to useless logistical overhead. Besides, setting up an airfield, and an ATF cache here really isn't a big expense. It will only provide more handy room for our expanding air arsenal, which may face constraints in larger IAF bases nearby.
 

icecoolben

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If helicopter training is what u propose at the site, i wouldn't be surprised if the army takes an interest in this.
 

tarunraju

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That place is multi-utility. You can still see traces of its eroded runway. If heli training it is, so be it. I just don't want such a wonderful land getting tuned into a bunch of apartment buildings. It must have taken a lot of work to level such a huge piece of land, given the terrain.
 

ppgj

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I'm planning to write to the Ministry of Defense as just another citizen. I want to convince it to retain this air-asset as it will do more good to the country than being eaten up by land-sharks. That is a HUGE land, which can hold a very long runway, and there's room for even 2~3 sqns of fighter aircraft, if the need be. I would like to know the opinion of the community.
an interesting proposal. looking at the map and adilabad's location, being very central to both west and east coast, it seems like a good place to station our awacs (naval preferably), heavy lift transport and servicing and maintainence of combat fleet.
it can be like the agra airbase.
 

arya

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hi

i want to say thanks to you for this

our govt and air force should think about this

i want to ask one question which one will be better option

1) more airbase with less planes
2) less airbase with more planes

i think if any time any country try to attack on our airbase then these numbser will make impact

we have to increase our numbers

jai hind
 

tarunraju

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an interesting proposal. looking at the map and adilabad's location, being very central to both west and east coast, it seems like a good place to station our awacs (naval preferably), heavy lift transport and servicing and maintainence of combat fleet.
it can be like the agra airbase.
Yes, these are some of the ingredients I'll build my request on. As you can see, that's at least around 600 km into Indian territory, from its closest approach points. Any fast-moving adversary can be detected and vapourised before reaching Adilabad. At the same time, aircraft stationed here can be transported to any part of the country quicker due to its central location.

 

ppgj

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Yes, these are some of the ingredients I'll build my request on. As you can see, that's at least around 800 km into Indian territory, from its closest approach points. Any fast-moving adversary can be detected and vapourised before reaching Adilabad. At the same time, aircraft stationed here can be transported to any part of the country quicker due to its central location.
agree with you. just take care to look at the other air bases and their functions which are in close vicinity. in principle and logically it makes sound sense to me.
it can be a agra of the south.
 

tarunraju

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It's not as big as Agra, though it can definitely do its part in training heli and fighter pilots (for operations in simulated-terrain resembling that of our NE), a nicely located home for a refueller, apart from housing squadrons based on older yet in-service aircraft, to serve as a spot central to Bidar, Hyderabad, and Nagpur for troop airlift, and that a runway in the middle of Deccani hills is always handy.
 

ppgj

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It's not as big as Agra,
it wont be difficult to convert as one if there is enough space. also agra as of now is the home for the awacs fleet. for the awacs for our coast another much down south but still central location is always welcome.
though it can definitely do its part in training heli and fighter pilots (for operations in simulated-terrain resembling that of our NE), a nicely located home for a refueller, apart from housing squadrons based on older yet in-service aircraft, to serve as a spot central to Bidar, Hyderabad, and Nagpur for troop airlift, and that a runway in the middle of Deccani hills is always handy.
agree.
 

Kumar

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I know Bidar is close, Nagpur, Hakimpet (Secuderabad) and Dundigal (Hyderabad) are even closer. The point in this airfield is that it's located in a sort of valley, surrounded by hilly, densely-forested terrain. It will allow in intensive training of air and ground troops to cope with it. It can also serve for training of heavy aircraft such as transporters, refuelers, etc., in harsh conditions, not to mention helicopters.

Are you going to fly troops and aircraft 600 km to-and-fro to train, or are you going to setup base there, so large-scale training can be conducted?
Nanded and latur are more nearer to adilabad and these cities also have Air stations though for civil purpose, but frequency of flights coming to these places are very less. some times once in a few months. Reliance Industries is planning to lease these stations for 99 years for a MRO facility. In case this does not fructify, its better to have these stations or one of them be a Air force base.

The climatic conditions in both these cities are similar to the ones in Adilabad. And already having a Infrastructure in place might also help.
 

tarunraju

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Latur and Nanded are outside this forest belt. Training in these forested hills is the selling-point of this place.
 

Daredevil

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There is a dated news article about the use of Adilabad aerodrome for training pilots. Don;t know what the situation is right now.

Facility for training pilots likely in Adilabad

S. Harpal Singh
IAF officials visit airstrip proposed for developing a permanent helipad
District administration’s help sought in developing aerodrome

Land for the aerodrome was acquired in 1931 in two phases

ADILABAD: The old aerodrome at Adilabad, a property of Indian Air Force (IAF), will acquire ‘wings’ in the near future as Thursday’s visit of top IAF officials to Adilabad indicates. A portion of the over 600-acre airfield is proposed to be developed as a permanent helipad to be used by pilot trainees from Air Force stations at Hyderabad-Secunderabad and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

Group Captain Rakesh Tondon, Station Commander, Air Force Station, Begumpet, and Wing Commander R.B. Singh, the Station’s Chief Administrative Officer, visited not only the airstrip but also called on Joint Collector G. Ravi Babu seeking the district administration’s support in developing aerodrome.

Approach road
The Air Force officials wanted a better approach road to the aerodrome that exists on the south-eastern fringes of Adilabad town under the Khanapur and Adilabad village limits. They also broached upon the subject of local people damaging the fencing around the airfield.

Mr. Ravi Babu instructed Revenue Officials to ensure that no encroachment took place inside the aerodrome. He also suggested the IAF officials to go in for construction of accommodation for trainee pilots who would visit the air field in future besides strengthening the security including re-fencing the ground wherever necessary.

At present, a guard detail of eight from the Air Force is stationed at the place. The security is bound to be increased once the new proposal goes operational.

The land for the aerodrome was acquired in 1931 in 2 phases.

An airstrip was subsequently developed at the place that was used for re-fuelling airplanes. There were some efforts in the past to develop the Adilabad aerodrome too.
 

Quickgun Murugan

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Just out of curiosity, How many airbases does India have? Can anyone provide a brief details on which airbases has which fighter jets, how many squadrons? and how many airbases are located in strategic locations? Is there any part of India which cannot be protected by IAF or potentially their reaction time is higher for a particular region?
 

tarunraju

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There is a dated news article about the use of Adilabad aerodrome for training pilots. Don;t know what the situation is right now.
Mmmmmuahh. (in a brotherly/non-g4y way).

It dates back to 2007. At least I'm convinced the land is safe and will be used for defense.
 

tarunraju

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Just out of curiosity, How many airbases does India have? Can anyone provide a brief details on which airbases has which fighter jets, how many squadrons? and how many airbases are located in strategic locations? Is there any part of India which cannot be protected by IAF or potentially their reaction time is higher for a particular region?
The objective of IAF at Adilabad wouldn't merely be to provide air-defense to this part of the Indian airspace, there is no dearth for airspace defense here.

The objectives would be training personnel under the safety of this location being nearly impenetrable by any adversary, and virtually immune to preemptive strikes, absorbing load (of trainees and aircraft) from neighbouring IAF bases (to reduce redundancy)), and providing support for other IAF installations.

I've spoken to my friends in Adilabad who tell me that proposals for IAF installations there pretty-much 'came and went' (every decade or so the MoD makes its interest in Adilabad a little vocal), and that sort of ensures the land is kept safe from encroachments, but MoD hasn't made any headway in operationalizing anything. I guess I will have to write to the ladies at South Block after all.
 

icecoolben

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Definitiely this base can be used to support inter-operatability of army and air-force's Fixed and rotary wing air-craft. Simulated training real time in safe zones are always welcome. Lets says special troops trained for mountain warfare can be air dropped as in real battle zones. Our forces then would be adequately prepared to expect anti-aircraft weapons when fired from inside forest cover. Para-troopers can be dropped and tested for efficient combat training. How rotary wing gun ship can provide cover for our troops and ifv's when they enter hostile regions when the enemy might have overwhelming fire power etc. Lets hope the defence ministry chips in and looks into the matter.
 

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