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Days after Tawang clash, IAF sends a strong message to China with Northeast exercise

The Indian Air Force (IAF) kicked off a major two-day training exercise in the Northeast region on Thursday with an aim to check the operational readiness of its aircraft and practice Offensive Counter Air (OCA) in a simulated environment.

The exercise takes place at a time amid reports that IAF scrambled its Su-30MKI fighter jets deployed in the region to counter Chinese drones just before the December 9 clash between the two sides in the Yangtse area near Tawang on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh.

While briefing Parliament on the incident in Tawang sector, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament that Indian forces remain committed to protecting the country’s territorial integrity and will continue to thwart any attempt made on it.

On December 9, Chinese troops tried to transgress the LAC and unilaterally change the status quo, an attempt that was contested by Indian soldiers in a firm and resolute manner.

The Chinese side, Singh told Parliament, was asked to refrain from such actions and maintain peace and tranquility along the border.

The ongoing exercise is expected to send a strong message to Beijing to desist from any misadventures along the borders with India.

One of the lethal arms of the IAF, Eastern Air Command (EAC) controls air operations over a vast area that straddles 12 states.

It includes the seven northeastern states, Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar and parts of Orissa and Jharkhand covering over three lakh square kilometres.

The area of responsibility includes a 6300 km long international boundary with China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Also Read: IAF fighter jets scrambled to keep China’s drones in check