Farkhor Air Base

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Farkhor Air Base
Parkhar, Tajikistan
Farkhor Air Base is located in Tajikistan
Farkhor Air Base
Farkhor Air Base
Coordinates37°28′12″N 69°22′51″E / 37.4701°N 69.3809°E / 37.4701; 69.3809
TypeAir force base
Site information
OwnerTajikistan Air Force
Controlled byTajikistan Air Force
Indian Air Force
Site history
Garrison information
OccupantsTajikistan Air Force
Indian Air Force

Farkhor Air Base is a military air base located near the town of Farkhor in Tajikistan, 130 kilometres (81 mi) southeast of the capital Dushanbe.[1] It is operated by the Indian Air Force[2] in collaboration with the Tajik Air Force.[3] Farkhor is India's first military base outside its territory.[1] Chabahar Port in Iran, developed by India, provides India surface transport access to Farkhor Air Base via Afghanistan.[4]


In 1996-97, Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) started negotiations with Tajikistan to use the Farkhor airbase to transport high-altitude military supplies to the Afghan Northern Alliance, service their helicopters and gather intelligence. At that time, India operated a small military hospital in the Farkhor region.[1] The hospital at Farkhor was used to treat Afghan Northern Alliance members injured in fighting with the Taliban, including military leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was rushed there after a suicide attack against him.[5] In 2002, India acknowledged that it was setting up an air base in Farkhor.[6] It was secured with assistance from Russia.[7] The airbase was in a dilapidated condition[8] and was not used since the 1980s. The Indian Government awarded a $10 million tender to a private builder in 2003 to restore the airbase by 2005. After the builder defaulted, the Border Roads Organisation stepped in to complete the work.[3] In 2006, India was considering deploying a squadron of MiG 29 aircraft at the base.[9]

Strategic location and geopolitical implications[edit]

The Farkhor Air Base would give the Indian military the required depth and range in seeking a larger role in the Indian Subcontinent and is a tangible manifestation of India’s move to project its power in Central Asia, a policy goal formally enunciated in 2003/04.[citation needed]

The potential implications of this base go far beyond the Indo-Pakistani rivalry on the subcontinent. Pakistan fears being encircled by India with the base in Farkhor operational.[10] In 2003 the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf raised concerns to the Tajik government over the fact that Indian planes would be able reach Pakistan within minutes using the air base.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Making the water boil in Afghanistan". The Hindu. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  2. ^ Bhardwaj, AP (2010). Study Package For Clat 2nd Edition. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. pp. B-349. ISBN 0-07-107468-6.
  3. ^ a b "India to station MiG-29 fighter-bombers at Tajikistan base". The Tribune. 22 April 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  4. ^ "India And Tajikistan Ties: Partners In Development – Analysis .", Eurasia Review, 4 March 2017.
  5. ^ "India to open military hospital in Tajikistan". The Times of India. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Indian military shadow over Central Asia". Asia Times. 10 September 2002. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  7. ^ "India, Pakistan and the Battle for Afghanistan". Time. 5 December 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  8. ^ William H. Keith, Stephen Coonts (2011). Death Wave. Quercus. p. 4. ISBN 0-85738-520-8.
  9. ^ Subsequently the base was operationalized by 2007. India to station MiG-29 fighter-bombers at Tajikistan base Tribune India 22 April 2006
  10. ^ "India-Afghanistan Relations". The Washington Post. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  11. ^ "India to base planes in Tajikistan". The Tribune. 15 November 2003. Retrieved 1 February 2012.

Further reading[edit]