IAF base to be Andhra Pradesh, India

China and India are the two most populous and fastest growing economies in the world today. India-China relations, also called Sino-Indian relations or Indo-Chinese relations, refers to the bilateral relationship between these two countries. Border disputes and the economic competition between the two countries have at times led to strained ties.

In early 2017, the two countries had a clash at Doklam along the disputed Sino-Bhutanese border. India’s relationship with China has been deteriorating for a while now, so the east coast of India is gaining strategic importance. Considering this, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to set up a strategic base in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and to strengthen its presence there. Currently, the IAF has a base at Arakkonam near Chennai while the Navy has a base at Vishakhapatnam.

A major helicopter training facility will be set up at Donakonda in Prakasam district. Apart from this a drone manufacturing facility has been proposed in Anantapur district. A cyber security centre in Amaravati has been planned. There is also a proposal to make Rajahmundry and Vijayawada airports into asset positioning bases. IAF helicopters and other aircrafts that could be used for rescue and relief operations during natural calamities would be positioned at these bases, since this coastline is prone to cyclones.

The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, and the IAF top brass (leaders), have already held at least three rounds of talks for the project and identified land areas for the same. Infrastructure and Investments Principal Secretary, Ajay Jain, will be co-ordinating with IAF for this project.

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