RAW to close Aviation Research Centre

Bhubaneswar: The Centre has reportedly decided to shutdown the Aviation Research Centre (ARC), India’s premier imaging-intelligence organization.

If national media reports are to be believed, the Research Analysis Wing (RAW) is going to close these units across the country including one in Charbatia near Cuttack.

The plans envisage that the ARC’s aircraft and electronics assets will be divided between the National Technical Research Organisation and the Indian Air Force.

Sources said, the organisational restructuring is primarily meant to enhance intelligence-gathering on China’s military capacities in the Tibet plateau, by integrating satellite-based data gathered by the NTRO with aircraft-based imaging conducted by the ARC.

Flying from bases at Charbatia in Orissa, Sarsawa in Uttar Pradesh, Tinsukia in Assam and Palam in Delhi, the ARC operates a fleet equipped with Russian IL-76s, AN-32s, General Dynamics Gulfstream IIIs and Global 5000 jets. It is also equipped with Russian-manufactured Mi-17 and Indian-made Alouette II and III helicopters. The organisation is largely staffed by officers on deputation from the armed forces.