The Indian Air Force showcased its all-weather day-dusk-night operational capability at a major exercise called the 'Vayu Shakti 2019' in Rajasthan's Pokhran firing range close to the Indo-Pakistan border on Saturday.
Numerous aircraft, including fighters, helicopters and force enablers participated in the exercise in the presence of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The 'Vayu Shakti 2019' will showcased capabilities of various fighter aircraft such as Mirage-2000, Su-30 MKI, MiG 27, Juguar, Tejas, Hawk, MiG-21 Bison, Mi-17 V5, Mi-35 and ALH MKIV besides other platforms.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa addressed the gathering and spoke about the capability of the Air Force.
"We are showcasing our ability to hit hard, hit fast, hit with precision, hit during day, hit during the night, under adverse conditions through our autonomous bombing capability,"
While wars are fought few and far between we have an ever-present sub-continental threat, the enemy knows that he can't defeat us in a conventional conflict. We showcase our ability to insert troops in enemy territories," he said.
Prior to the exercise, a Full Dress Rehearsal (FDR) was conducted on Thursday in firing Range in the presence of Air Marshal Anil Khosla, Vice Chief of the Air Staff.
During the rehearsal, the IAF engaged numerous simulated enemy targets with various types of air-to-ground weaponry including guided and unguided bombs, rockets and guns.
Aerial targets were also intercepted using air-to-air as well as surface-to-air missiles. The entire demonstration lasted for two hours.
Half a dozen indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft will fired their weapons at Pokhran by launching its air-to-air missile as well as air-to-ground rockets.
The front guns of the LCA, however, won't fire this time.
Vayu Shakti 2019 comes three after the last firepower demonstration in March 2016 and a year after the hugely successfully Exercise Gagan Shakti where the air force demonstrated its ability to fight a two-front by quickly moving the troops from the western front to the east.
(With agency inputs)