Indian Air Force demonstrates its fire power, carries out mega exercise at Pokhran

ZeeBiz WebTeam | Feb 16, 2019, 10:47 PM IST

Two days after the Pulwama terror attack, Indian Air Force (IAF) today carried out a mega exercise at Pokhran in Rajasthan. The IAF exercise involving around 140 fighter jets and attack helicopters, demonstrated its fire power on close to the border with Pakistan. Speaking at the inauguration of the day and night Vayu Shakti exercise, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, "I wish to assure the nation of the IAF's capability and commitment in meeting national security challenges and defending sovereignty of our country."


In the Vayu Shakti exercise, the IAF showcased fire power capability of indigenously-developed platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and efficacy of Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile. Image source: PTI


Fighter jets and helicopters hit targets during day and night. It was for the first time, the ALH and the Akash were deployed in a military exercise.Image source: PTI


The IAF also deployed the upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role during the exercise. A total of 137 aircraft including Su-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules, AN-32 aircraft participated. Image source: PTI


Top IAF sources said though the Vayu Shakti was planned in advance, the drill was a demonstration of the force's capability to hit targets with "pinpoint accuracy" and carry out missions at short notice. Image source: PTI


Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, defence attaches of several countries and top officials of defence ministry also witnessed the exercise. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is an honorary group captain of the IAF, was also present. Image source: PTI