By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 18: The Border Security Force is set to have its own Mi-17 helicopter base in Guwahati, in a development that is expected to give a major boost to the border guarding force’s air power in Northeast.
The BSF has already acquired a hangar for the purpose at the new extension of Lokapriya Gopith Bordoloi Airport.
“The process is almost complete. We are in the last leg completing the formalities,” said a source.
The border guarding force will deploy three Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters at the base.
The BSF will bring in equipment and technical staff from New Delhi for the base.
“The choppers will be used for various purposes like operation, disaster magement, airlifting of paramilitary forces, ration dropping at difficult areas like the Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Chi borders. It will definitely give a boost to magement of the Indo-Bangladesh border besides being of use to the ITBP which guards the Chi border in the Northeast,” said an official source.
Earlier, the BSF had to use the Dhruv Advanced Light helicopters stationed at Tripura.
“For any kind of situation, we had to depend on the choppers station in Tripura. But from now on, we will be able to use the ones which will be deployed in Guwahati,” the source added.
The Russian-made choppers are an upgraded version of the existing Mi-17 choppers operated by Indian Air Force and BSF in the country.
The new flying machines have an all-weather radar which helps them fly in difficult areas and at night, a ‘bambi bucket’ to carry gallons of water for humanitarian aid and help for civil administration, a powerful winch to extricate troops and civilians alike, loud hailers and search lights to undertake extended reconissance missions. They are extensively used in anti-xal operations.