India and China border conflict, India’s new wind squadron to guard the “chicken neck” strategic location

After the next batch of Rafale returns home, the IAF will establish a second squadron dedicated to the operation of the aircraft in the Siliguri corridor. (Photo)

The Hindustan Times reported on 15 May that the Indian Air Force will establish a second squadron dedicated to operating the Rafale in the strategic Siliguri Corridor after the next batch of French-made aircraft returns home. The squadron will be on standby for the India-China border conflict in places such as Doklam.

According to reports, four Indian Raptors will take off from Bordeaux-Merignac Airbase in France between 19 and 20 and return to India with the support of air refueling aircraft from the United Arab Emirates. The soaring winds will not be assigned to Ambala Air Force Station (Ambala Air Force Station) in northern India as before, but will go to Hasimara Air Force Station (Hasimara Air Force Station) in eastern India’s West Bengal province to strengthen the combat capabilities of the local garrison.

The Indian Air Force said the Hasimara base has completed the expansion and renovation of the runway, ammunition depot, blast shelter area (blast pen), barracks and other facilities, and will begin operations at the end of the month. The new Falcons squadron is expected to inherit the name and history of the 101st Falcons squadron, which was first created in 1949 and has operated British and Russian aircraft such as the Spitfire, Vampire, Su-7 and MiG-21. It was involved in the Indo-Pakistani war in 1965 and 1971, but was disbanded in 2011.

According to Hindustan Times, as France is willing to provide India with a number of technology transfers, including engines, and the IAF seems to be satisfied with the performance of the Rafale, it may further procure more Rafales to fill the 126 aircraft needed for the Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender.

The Hasimara base is located in the strategic Siliguri corridor, a narrow area connecting India’s northeastern territory with other territories, only 23 kilometers wide at its narrowest point, known as “Chicken’s Neck” (Chicken’s Neck); Sikkim in particular is the border between India and mainland China, Nepal and Bhutan. Sikkim, in particular, is the border between India and mainland China, Nepal and Bhutan, and has been the scene of many border conflicts.