LAC satellite images show helipad expansion by China

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LAC satellite images show helipad expansion by China


NEW DELHI: At a time when escalated

border tensions

near Ladakh have led to build-up by defence forces of India and China, fresh satellite images show that China has expanded its heliport located 21.3 km north east from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in

Pangong Tso

area. The images show that no new heliport has been constructed.

Latest satellite images accessed by TOI also show that China has revamped another old helibase and new infrastructure has been added. The helibase is located in Pishan County, Hotan in

Xinjiang

, 176 kilometres north of Galwan. The new images were taken on June 22 this year and compared with those taken in 2017.

Defence experts, however, said that India with two helipads closer to LAC has more advantage. The two Indian helipads built in 2017 are right next to Finger 4 where an ITBP camp is positioned. The twin helipads stand next to each other, three km west of foxhole point at the base of Finger 4.

Former 15 Corps commander Lt Gen Satish Dua (retd) told TOI that

Indian Army

would have an advantage over the People’s Liberation Army since its helipads were more strategically located.

“To fly a combat chopper in narrow valleys like these is not easy, but they will have to be used for reconnaissance, logistics supplies and casualty evacuation on the frontline which gives advantage to India as our helipads are closer to LAC,” said former 15 Corps commander Lt Gen Satish Dua (retd) while speaking on the

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