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Rajnath, Gadkari inaugurate emergency landing strip for IAF planes on national highway in Barmer

Indian Air Force Mi 17 helicopters take off as part of rehearsals before inauguration of an emergency landing strip at Gandhav Bhakasar section on NH-925 in Barmer district on September 9, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an emergency landing strip at Satta-Gandhav stretch on National Highway 925 in Barmer, Rajasthan on Thursday for Indian Air Force (IAF) planes.

A Hercules C-130J plane of the IAF, carrying the two Ministers and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, conducted a mock emergency landing on the national highway on Thursday. NH-925 is India's first national highway to be used for emergency landing of IAF aircraft.

The two Ministers also witnessed multiple aircraft operations on the emergency landing facility (ELF) of NH-295 on Thursday.

Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet also conducted a mock emergency landing at the ELF in front of the two ministers. An-32 military transport aircraft and Mi-17v5 helicopter of the IAF also landed at the ELF, showing its complete operational readiness to act as an auxiliary military airbase.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has developed the 3-km section of Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925 as an ELF for the IAF. In October 2017, fighter jets and transport planes of the IAF had conducted mock landings on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway to show that such highways can be used by the IAF planes for landing in case of an emergency.

The Lucknow-Agra Expressway, which is not a national highway, comes under the Uttar Pradesh government.

Officials told PTI  a total of 27 other highways, apart from the one in Barmer, are being currently studied jointly by the IAF and the NHAI to see if emergency landing strips can be developed on them. The emergency landing strip, which was inaugurated on Thursday, is part of newly developed two-lane paved shoulder of Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav section having total length of 196.97 km and costing ₹765.52 crore under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

This highway project will improve connectivity between villages of Barmer and Jalore districts located on the international border.


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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 12:51:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajnath-gadkari-inaugurate-emergency-landing-strip-for-iaf-planes-on-national-highway-in-barmer/article36375604.ece

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