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The Indian Air Force (IAF) has taken a significant step towards bolstering its presence in Eastern Ladakh with the completion of a paved runway at the Nyoma airstrip, located just 30 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This development mirrors India’s efforts to counter China’s infrastructure advancements in the region.

Situated at an altitude of 13,700 feet, Nyoma offers a strategic advantage due to its proximity to the LAC. The newly paved runway will now allow the IAF to operate transport aircraft and attack helicopters from this location, significantly enhancing its operational flexibility and rapid response capabilities in the region.

While initial trials for landing aircraft are underway, the development of allied infrastructure at Nyoma is expected to take another two years to complete. This includes facilities crucial for sustained operations and long-term deployment of personnel.

The Nyoma airstrip becomes the fourth operational airstrip under the IAF’s command in Ladakh, joining the existing bases in Leh, Kargil, and Thoise (Siachen Glacier). This network of airfields strengthens India’s aerial defense capabilities in the strategically important region.

Prior to the recent upgrade, the Nyoma airstrip primarily served as a landing zone for helicopters and specialized aircraft like the C-130J, which can operate on unprepared surfaces. The newly paved runway significantly expands the range of aircraft that can utilize this crucial forward position.