Fighter aircraft, Rafale will soon be able to take off & land at UP's Purvanchal Expressway
To maximise the reach of Military across the nation, its bases are being stretched in every direction and the newest region in the checklist is the Purvanchal Expressway in Uttar Pradesh. The government is developing a stretch of 3.2 kilometres near the Sultanpur district on the Expressway as an air-strip to shoulder combat aircraft. Soon, top-of-the-line fighter planes, such as Rafale or Sukhoi, will be able to take off and land from here.
The Purvanchal Expressway Upgrade
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As per reports, two air-strips will be installed at the 340 km long Purvanchal Expressway in Uttar Pradesh, making it the first state have a dual runway at an expressway. Prior to this, in 2017, 16 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft had performed landings and touch-and-go manoeuvres on a stretch of the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. Back then, the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft had landed with Special Forces commandos as part of the drill.
Supervising the expressway projects in Uttar Pradesh, the Additional Chief Secretary government told that sources, "The stretch is being developed in such a manner that any combat aircraft can land and take off. It is part of the Expressway and we are in regular talks with the Indian Air Force." About 85% of the total work of the Purvanchal Expressway has been completed and by hopefully it will be completed by March, the Secretary expressed.
Military expansions to strengthen state security
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With active borders on all sides, India has realised the need to stretch armed forces to its maximum potential. The Government too is pushing for development and infrastructure of the military to strengthen the state security in case of a war. For this, the Centre has taken an initiative to develop roads and highways in a manner that permits combat aircraft to land and take-off during crisis or emergencies.
Earlier, the Prime Minister's Office had also issued directives in this regard, after which all the stakeholders had started working in sync, including the Indian Air Force, Border Road Organization, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and state governments. The road construction agencies have been aligning and realigning the roads and highways design in consultation with the IAF to ensure that combat jets can use this infrastructure as and when required. The liaison has to ensure that the quality of roads or expressways permits its usage for landing and takeoff of IAF aircraft.