India to Build Over 100 Blast Pens for Jets Near China, Pakistan – Reports

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New Delhi (Sputnik) — To protect fighter jets from being destroyed in bombings and missile strikes on air bases, the Indian government has sanctioned the construction of around 110 Next Generation Hardened Shelters for Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets at locations close to the border with Pakistan and China.

READ MORE: India Seeks License Extension from Russia to Manufacture More Su-30MKI Locally

The majority of the hardened shelters would house the Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets that are the mainstay of the Indian Air Force, the news agency ANI reported.

“The central government has cleared a project for the construction of around 110 hardened shelters also known as blast pens which protect the fighter planes from enemy missiles or bomb attacks”, ANI quoted the governments sources as saying.

According to ANI, the next generation hardened shelters would be built in a phased manner at air bases close to the borders with China and Pakistan.

READ MORE: Indian Air Force Gets First Locally Overhauled Su-30MKI

At present, the IAF keeps the SU-30MKI and other fighter jets in rear locations during operations near the Pakistan border due to a lack of protective hardened shelters. It was because of this drawback that the IAF had to scramble MiG-21 jets while responding to the Pakistan Air Force strike on 27 February as the Sukhoi fighter jets were not at their ready disposal.

Earlier, during a war with Pakistan in 1965, the IAF had lost several of its fighter jets as they were without protective shelters, added the report.

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