Indian Air Force Claims To Detect Chinese IL-78 Aircraft In Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir

Indian Air Force Claims To Detect Chinese IL-78 Aircraft In Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir
Credits: twtext

Indian Airforce claims that Chinese IL-78 refueller aircraft landed in Skardu last week. Also, Chinese air activity has increased opposite Eastern Ladakh, raising the possibility of PLA Air Force (PLAAF) using airbases in PoK.

Indian and Chinese forces are in the middle of an escalating standoff in Eastern Ladakh with both sides bring in a large number of troops in the area.

The Indian Air Force has been on heightened alert for several weeks now and extensive ferry missions have been undertaken to take supplies and troops to Ladakh.

See Details: Satellite Imagery Shows PLAAF Fighter Jets Deployment Along With The LAC

Besides, Chinese air activity – additional Su 27 fighters are believed to have been deployed at Hotan airbase in Xinjiang – is being closely monitored and their deployments mirrored on the Indian side.

The PLAAF has several airbases in and around Tibet, with Hotan housing the most combat assets, but they suffer from one debilitating issue – most are located at altitudes over 4,000 feet, making it difficult for fighters to take off with a full weapons load and fuel.

Several Indian airbases, on the other hand, are located in the plains of Punjab and Haryana, giving them an edge.

While the PLAAF can make up for the high altitude by deploying aerial tankers, Indian military planners have always been wary that in a time of conflict, airbases in PoK could be handed over to China.

Sources said that limited activity can be observed at the Skardu airbase, and an IL 78 tanker of the PLAAF landed there a few days ago, besides some Pakistan Air Force transport aircraft.

Skardu has located just 100 km from the Leh airbase and has recently been expanded by Pakistan. In August last year, the Skardu base was used by Pakistani JF 17s on their way to the PLAAF base at Hotan for a joint exercise.

The Shaheen series of exercises involving J 10s from China and Pakistani JF 17 jets had been carefully monitored by India and took place in the area opposite Eastern Ladakh.

In the past two years there has been a significant increase in air activity in Tibet. While the PLAAF earlier used to deploy its fighters to forward bases only in summers, a year-round deployment has now become the norm.

Recent satellite images show that another airbase located just about 200 km from the Pangong Tso lake is also being upgraded, with work on as recently as May this year.

The Ngari Gunsa airbase in Tibet is housing Su-27 fighter jets and work to expand the runway has been ongoing.

In the past, Pakistan had no qualms in allowing other nations to use its airbases and military camps. During the Afghanistan campaign launched in 2001, US forces had enclaves at several Pakistani airbases to support combat missions against the Taliban.

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7 comments

  1. What a lame. Pakistan Air force has four IL-78

  2. POK is an independent country.
    They can do whatever they want.
    What Indian Air Force claims that has no legal point

  3. Keep crying baby,,,,, but don’t forget the ass kicking by the Chinese

  4. Idiots, its not Azad Kashmir but Gilgit Baltistan Province. And IL-78 is owned by PAF itself. Stop spreading fake news.

  5. Chinese Communist Party Admirer

    Whether it’s chingi plane or not POK will be smashed and captured and the Chinese road going to gwadar port through Indian territory will be bombarded and cut off forever. Don’t try to save your ass by saying ts a Pakistan plane that won’t make any difference as the land is ours.

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