New Air Base in Gujarat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a new air base at Deesa in the Banaskantha district of north Gujarat near the India-Pakistan border. It will help in reducing long pending strategic gap of 355 Kms between the Air Force station in Bhuj and Uttarlai.
Deesa Air Base
After laying the foundation stone, PM Modi said that the Deesa air base will emerge as an effective centre for the country’s security. According to the Indian Air Force officials, the land was was acquired for the IAF in 1983. The Prime Minister also said that after his government came to power, they decided to set up an operational base in Deesa, and “this expectation of our forces is being fulfilled today”.
Deesa Air Base 2022
The Deesa air base will be used as a fire wall between enemy aircraft taking off from Mirpur Khas, Hyderabad, Shahbaz F-16 airbase in Jacobabad in Pakistan with Gujarat’s more than a trillion dollar industrial complex in and around Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar and Vadodara as target to economically hit India in the worst-case scenario.
“The international border is just 130 km away. If our forces, especially the Air Force, are in Deesa, we will be able to respond in a much better way to any challenge on the western border,” PM further added.
The new airfield will also plug a crucial tactical gap between forward air bases at Naliya, Bhuj in Gujarat, and Phalodi in Rajasthan. Deesa will also make Pakistani cities of Hyderabad, Karachi, and Sukkur vulnerable with its deep penetration strike aircraft.
As Deesa is a forward airbase, the IAF has no intentions to deploy its frontline Rafale or Su-30 MKI fighters on this airfield. Instead, it will station air defence fighters like MiG-29 and Tejas so that enemy fighters are intercepted and their ability to target Gujarat’s industrial complex could be neutralised on time.
The airbase can also be used to retaliate against Pakistan in case of a major terror strike in Gujarat or around the south-western sector apart from giving support to any land offensive in future.
With Deesa airbase expected to be operational in the next two years in 2024, the Pakistan air force is also expected to ramp up its air assets in the sector as Indian fighters can cross over the international border in just two minutes at Mach 2.0 speed if something goes bad.