Revamping WW2 Airfield in Panagarh
The Indian Airforce plans to use the abandoned airfields near to the borders, where it was used earlier in the world war two to counter the Japanese advancement in south Asia, after the end of the war those Air fields are abandoned and out of actions, but with the growing threats of Chinese in eastern borders, the Government plans to use those abandoned structures, as per the initial plan the world war two airfield Panagrah is in the table, the Air field transferred to the Air force special operations teams to revamp the entire structure.
The Government plans to field special operations unit for quick deployment, for that they plans to use much advanced STOL Aircraft's and high mobility Army units, the Air force plans to field the American special operation plane C 130 J Super Hercules, which is a short take off and land special operation plane used world wide, currently the Air force operates six brand new C 130 J, which is already proved it's capability by landing world's highest airfield Doulat Beg oldie and assisted many humanitarian missions, unfortunately a C 130 J lost in a crash when Air force pushed in very tough maneuvering in very low flight and very close flying, India Replaces the Crashed one with newer one from USA.
At first the Air force plans to look on the runway, the runway is some 2700 meters long , but almost out of conditions, the Air force set a timeline to clear the runway before July this year, and the Air force engineering unit successfully modified the runway to operate newest fighters and small cargo planes from the runway. as recently the Air force successfully lands a C 130 J super Hercules, those Hercules are from AFS Hindon, Utter Pradesh, but used to evaluate many operational readiness procedure across the country. the Successful landing and Take off proves that the Air field can support medium lift cargo planes like C 130 J.
In second logistics and maintenance support, before fielding the Air crafts, the base needed to be accommodate all the Planes, plus support elements like ground crew, spare parts, storage, Fuel dumps, and Hanger facilities, the IAF ordered additional six more C 130 J from Lockheed martin to field it in AFS Panagarh, such facilities are available only in AFS Hindon where first six C130 J are deployed, Engineers from Indian Air force and Lockheed martin already started working in Panagarh, and it expected to be finished before the arrival of new batch of C 130J, who's induction timeline is not available. the Air force also plans to include a Tanker variant of C 130 J named KC 130 J.
It's also believed that the newly raised Mountain Strike Corps , will be stationed here in AFS Panagarh, the newly raised 14 corps comprises 80,000 Army Soldiers include Officers, with the C 130 J those mountain strike corps can be deployed in quick moments in case of any activities, both in war and humanitarian assistance. where each C 130 J can carry 90 fully armed Soldiers and drop in any tough terrains, even it can perform touch and go landings in roads and unpaved runways, which allows the Soldiers can jump from the C 130 J for Special operations or low level infiltrations.
Earlier in the 1971 war the Air field used to perform Air force missions, Fighters like Mig 21 and Su 7 is operated from this Air force base.