Updated April 12th, 2024 at 17:55 IST

Post-Gagan Shakti, IAF Primed for Realistic Drills and Precision Strikes in Exercise Tarang Shakti

The Indian Air Force (IAF) showcased its offensive prowess in the Vayu Shakti exercise, displaying precision and potency with a diverse range of firepower.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
IAF Mig-21 | Image:IAF
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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) recently concluded its Vayu Shakti exercise, exhibiting its formidable offensive capabilities with a diverse display of firepower. This exercise, held on February 17, highlighted the IAF's precision and potency in hitting chosen targets accurately and powerfully. 

During the exercise, conducted at the Pokhran air-to-ground range near Jaisalmer, the IAF deployed a range of frontline assets including Mirage-2000s, Rafale fighter jets, Sukhoi-30 MKIs, Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), Jaguars, Apache attack helicopters, Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, surface-to-air missile systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). 

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Gagan Shakti: Testing Readiness Amidst Simulated Conflict 

Simultaneously, from April 1-10, the IAF undertook the Gagan Shakti exercise, a large-scale drill aimed at simulating a realistic combat environment across all air force bases and assets throughout India. This exercise ran non-stop for 24 hours each day throughout its duration. The Gagan Shakti exercise served as a platform for the IAF to evaluate its readiness to counter potential threats from multiple fronts, specifically from Pakistan and China. It focused on assessing joint combat strategies and methods in coordination with the Army and Navy. 

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The exercise also incorporated crucial elements such as air traffic control (ATC) systems, which played a pivotal role in ensuring safe operations by providing real-time aircraft position and weather information to pilots via radio communication. On April 6 and 7, a segment of the exercise took place along a 3.5-kilometer stretch of the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, where the IAF deployed various aircraft including Mirage-2000, Sukhoi, Jaguar, TEJAS jets, Globemaster C-17 transport aircraft, Chinook, Apache, Hercules, and Prachand helicopters. 

Looking Ahead: Tarang Shakti and International Collaboration  

Looking forward, the IAF is gearing up for the Tarang Shakti exercise scheduled for August 2024, anticipated to be India's largest international military drill to date. This exercise will witness the participation of air forces from several countries including Australia, the UK, Japan, France, the US, Germany, and more. 

The forthcoming exercise aims to strengthen military cooperation and interoperability among participating nations, showcasing India's emergence as a significant player on the global stage. With approximately 12 countries expected to partake, Tarang Shakti will serve as a testament to India's robust air force capabilities and its commitment to fostering international partnerships. 

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Published April 12th, 2024 at 17:04 IST