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CREDIT Damien Symon@detresfa_

High-resolution satellite imagery has revealed significant progress in the ongoing renovation of Bagdogra Airbase, a crucial Indian Air Force (IAF) facility in the strategically important Siliguri Corridor bordering China. This upgrade comes at a time of heightened regional tensions, making Bagdogra’s transformation even more critical.

The 2017 Doklam standoff underscored Bagdogra’s vital role. Its proximity to the disputed territory makes it a launchpad for air operations and a key staging point for troop deployment. The current renovations aim to significantly enhance the airbase’s capacity and capabilities.

Details gleaned from the imagery suggest a multi-pronged approach to the renovation:

  • Extended Runway: Lengthening the runway will allow larger aircraft to operate, potentially including heavy transport jets and fighter squadrons with greater payloads. This translates to swifter troop and equipment deployment during contingencies.
  • Enhanced Infrastructure: Construction of new buildings and support facilities suggests an expansion of logistical capabilities, potentially including improved ammunition storage, maintenance bays, and crew quarters.
  • Modernization: Upgrading existing infrastructure could involve improvements to air traffic control systems, communication networks, and potentially incorporating more modern radar technology for better situational awareness.

This project is likely viewed as a deterrent measure, showcasing India’s resolve to safeguard its territorial integrity. The improved airbase strengthens India’s strategic position in the region and its ability to project airpower in case of any future conflicts.