New Delhi/ Nagpur: Having touched its height of perfection, the Indian Air Force will use national highways of the country during a war-like situation with Pakistan. The IAF wants that certain selected highways of the country should be upgraded in such a way that its fighter planes could take off or land there. The IAF has talked to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in this regard. , and the development is under process. In the beginning, 8 highways, in the states bordering with Pakistan, will be made like road-runways. It may be noted that the IAF had made testing on Yamuna Expressway, near Mathura, in the month of May this year.
According to sources, the details of of IAF-testings are as follows:
May 21: Mirage-2000 made testing on road-runway
An IAF helicopter landed on express-runway
For this purpose, Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway was closed for common usage.
Places where highway-runway can be made
According to sources, the IAF in collaboration with NHAI can make express-runways in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab states bordering with Pakistan.
At the initial planning 8 highways have been selected in Rajsathan and Punjab.
Why is there such a need?
According BBC 1971 report, during Bangladesh Mukti Sangram, some of the planes of Pakistan Air Force had entered up to Agra and there were capable of bombing, but they were chased out by IAF.
It is being felt since then that there should be ‘operations’ for landing and taking off of the fighter planes within country.
In what way is Pakistan ahead of us by 15 years?
Pakistan has 2 main highways: M-1 motorway links Peshawar with Islamabad, and M-2 motorway links Lahore with Islamabad. Pakistan has declared parts of these motorways as emergency runways.
What is road-runway test?
According to Air Marshal Denzil Keelor (retired from IAF), a road can be converted into runway during attack by enemy. The road-runway test is to ensure feasibility of landing and taking off of fighter planes.
Such experiments are conducted in other countries. It was for the first time when the IAF fighter planes were landed on road in Agra.
Necessary infrastructure for road-runway
According to IAF, if the fighter planes are required to be landed, apart from the air-base, the following things are necessary:
1. the portion of road should be completely flat, with no depression on ground-road and no slope. The thickness of road-strip should not be more than other parts of road.
2. There should not be electrict poles, highmast or mobile towers on both sides of road.
3. There should be sufficient space on both sides of road for portable lighting system to guide the plane.
4. The road-dividers should be such that they can be removed immediately.