Updated March 12th, 2024 at 20:59 IST

'Aatmanirbharta, Belief & Self-pride': After Agni-V, India Showcases Military Might at Pokhran

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan on Tuesday and witnessed the ‘Bharat Shakti’ exercise.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
India's Defence Might on Display As PM Attends Exercise 'Bharat Shakti' At Pokhran | Image:ANI
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Pokhran: India demonstrated its military prowess ‘Bharat Shakti’ in Pokhran, a day after the successful maiden flight test of the indigenous Agni-5 missile. Prime Minister Modi hailed Pokhran as a witness to India's 'Aatmanirbharta' (self-reliance), embodying belief and self-pride. The integrated tri-service firepower and manoeuvre exercise was held for about 50 minutes at the Pokhran field firing range where India showcased the prowess of its indigenous defence equipment.  All three services of the Indian Defence- Indian Army, Navy and Indian Air Force- participated in the exercise, showcasing the indigenous capability and the ability to undertake conflicts in the face of global upheavals.  

As awestruck spectators watched the military exercise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that "the roar of aircraft mid-air, and valour displayed on the ground during Bharat Shakti exercise is the call of a 'new India' (naye Bharat ka aavhan hai)". He recalled that it was at Pokhran that India's nuclear test was conducted in the past.

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Indian Army Participating in the ‘Bharat Shakti' Exercise 

Bharat Shakti' Highlights Resilience, Innovation

Roars of LCA Tejas and ALH Mk-IV filled the air while Main Battle Tank Arjun, and K-9 Vajra, Dhanush and Sharang artillery gun systems ruled the firing ranges on the ground.  Platforms like the Pinaka satellite system and a swarm of drones left the audience spellbound. The exercise at Pokhran in the Jaisalmer district also showcased systems and platforms integrated with the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

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The first-of-its-kind exercise on such a scale is "not tailored towards any direction (northern or western border) or any adversaries", sources in the defence establishment said. 

"In a clear indication of India's readiness to confront and overcome contemporary and future challenges with home-grown solutions, 'Bharat Shakti' highlights resilience, innovation and strength of India's domestic defence capabilities on the global stage," the Prime Minister's Office had said. 

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"The programme exemplifies the nation's strong strides towards 'Aatmanirbharta' in defence, by showcasing the might and operational prowess of the Indian armed forces and the ingenuity and commitment of the indigenous defence industry," it added.  

India Delivered a Two-Pronged Message Within 48 Hours   

This comes a day after India successfully carried out the first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile, capable of deploying multiple warheads, under its 'Mission Divyastra', joining a select group of nations having such a capability. The missile with 'multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV)' tested from APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha accomplished the designed parameters, the Defence Ministry said.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the successful test. "Proud of our DRDO scientists for Mission Divyastra, the first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology," PM Modi said on 'X'. 

In April last year, India successfully carried out the maiden flight trial of an endo-atmospheric interceptor missile from a ship off the coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal as part of its ambitious ballistic missile defence programme.

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Published March 12th, 2024 at 14:12 IST