China Sets Up New Monitoring Station in Ladakh's Daulat Beg Oldie

With Indian Air Force (IAF) now able to operate C-130 Hercules transport aircraft at high-altitude Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector in Ladakh, China is reported to have built a station on its side of the border ostensibly to monitor movement of Indian planes over the area.

The structure, according to official sources on Monday, has come up across the DBO on the Chinese side which has described it as a weather station.

Indian technical experts, who have been monitoring this structure closely, have opined that it could be a radar station which apparently did not exist before. However, no signal has been emitted or received so far.

The work on this structure was expedited by the Chinese after IAF made a surprise historic landing of its C-130 J Hercules on a military air strip in DBO on August 20.
The matter was raised at the border meetings during which the Chinese side claimed it was a weather station, a statement which the Indian side contested as there was no civilian population in the area.

The DBO air strip had been activated after 43 years in 2008 when an AN-32 transport plane landed there. However, after the landing, the transport plane was used only for air dropping material for troops of Army and ITBP, manning the hostile terrain in this region.

Hercules has made at least seven landings so far in the area, sources said. It is capable of carrying up to 20 tonnes of load.

In a related move, Chinese troops mounted on vehicles entered five km deep into Indian territory at Trade Junction area in North of Ladakh. However, there was no face-off as the Chinese troops pulled back on their own, sources said.

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