The C 17 Globemaster of the Indian Air Force carried out a historic landing at Tuting advanced landing ground amidst the hills of Arunachal Pradesh today. The crew included Group Captain K Rama Rao, Wing Commander Amiya Kant Patnaik, Wing Commander K Trivedi and Sqn Ldr L Nayak. The challenging airfield is in the midst of high hills in a narrow valley. The mammoth C17 Globemaster could execute this mission flawlessly owing to its agile manoeuvrability, superlative performance and the excellent flying skills of the pilots. After completion of the trial landing, the C17 carried out an operational mission airlifting 18 tons of op load into the austere airfield. The mission carried out today demonstrated C 17 aircraft’s operational performance and capability of tactical air mobility of the Indian Air Force.Sukhoi’s Landmark Before the C 17 landing, a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft of the IAF had touched down for the first time in Arunachal Pradesh’s Pasighat in August, 2016. It marked a landmark fillip to India’s defence capabilities in the eastern sector near China border.An upgraded Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Pasighat was inaugurated by Kiren Rijiju, union minister of state for home affairs in August that now allows landing of ace fighters like Su-30 and heavy weight transport aircraft C-130 J. IAF, in a statement, had termed the touchdown by a frontline fighter jet of the IAF at the ALG a ‘historic first’ in the predominantly hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, which has several ALGs at varying altitudes.Following a MoU between government of Arunachal Pradesh and ministry of defence in June 2009, the IAF had embarked on an ambitious reconstruction plan to upgrade eight ALGs, including infrastructure development at an overall cost of nearly Rs1,000 Crore.The ALGs at Walong, Ziro, Along, Mechuka and Pasighat have since been upgraded and are operational now. Two ALGs at Tuting and Tawang are expected to be ready by the year end, while the ALG at Vijaynagar would undertake for reconstruction as soon as the road connectivity between Miao and Vijaynagar is restored.The new runway surface and other infrastructure built at Pasighat are similar to the other upgraded ALGs that have been inaugurated in the recent months. Replete with facilities such as aprons for ground manouevering, Air Traffic Control Tower, perimeter road and a security wall, the ALG will facilitate operations of fixed wing aircraft as well as helicopters of both civil and military operators, IAF said.The ALG at Pasighat was taken over by the IAF in February 2010. Previously, it was small strip that was partly paved, partly grassy, and reinforced with perforated steel plates. It was utilised in the past for air maintenance sorties and casualty evacuation by the IAF. Commercial helicopter operations were also being undertaken from the helipads that existed earlier.

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C 17 Globemaster, Indian Air Force’s biggest transport aircraft makes historic landing at Arunachal’s Tuting