May 20, 2013
China deploys Su-27 fighters in Tibet, can target key Indian air bases
China's all-weather fighter base in Tibet is now widening its range of options in the event of a conflict with India. Intelligence intercepts and satellite monitoring has confirmed that China may have to some extent overcome Tibet's extreme altitude and temperatures to operationalise an all-weather airfield near the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
The airfield is Gonkar, where China has deployed Su-27 fighters. Sources told CNN-IBN that the Gonkar airfield will enable Chinese fighters to widen their selection of Indian targets from Ladakh to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Sources say Gonkar is a direct response to the Indian Air Force stationing Su-30MKI fighters in Chabua and Tezpur in Assam. These fighters with a combat radius of about 1,000 km can hit targets deep in Tibet and mainland China.