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IAF to exhibit might at Pokhran tomorrow

USAF F-15C Eagles from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska and Indian air force MIG-27 Floggers fly together over the Indian landscape during Cope India 04, the first bilateral fighter exercise between the two air forces in more than 40 years. The 10-day exercise concluded Feb 25. (IAF courtesy photo)

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to demonstrate its combat and firepower on Friday at Rajasthan’s Pokhran firing range.

IAF’s exhibition of might will be witnessed by Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi among others.

During the event, the IAF would showcase its capability delivering firepower both by day as well as by night.

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, as well as Chief of the Air Staff, will welcome the President and the Prime Minister here.

The primary objective of the exercise is to demonstrate the IAF’s capability to safeguard our national interests. During the exercise, the IAF would also project its transformational state-of-the-art combat potential for meeting challenges be it from the air, land or sea.

The event comprises six packages depicting six themes, in which more than 180 fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters are participating.

First on the show would be a flypast showing IAF’s journey over eight decades, with the aircraft of yesteryears like Tiger Moth flying along with the with the latest acquisitions of the IAF. The flypast by a mixed formation comprising MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29 and the mighty Su-30, would represent the transformation of the IAF over the decades.

Next package would comprise net-enabling operations aircraft. This would commence with fly past by the indigenously developed Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft, which would then be followed a synchronized weapon delivery demonstration comprising precision based bombing at simulated targets by Mirage-2000, Su-30, MiG-27 and Jaguar.

After demonstrating offensive capabilities, the IAF would showcase its multi-layered Air Defence operations. It will comprise fly-past by Flight Refuelling aircraft, IL-78 FRA along with two Su-30 aircraft which will demonstrate the ability to extend on-station endurance and strategic reach of fighter aircraft.

The next phase would highlight the important role played by the Indian Air Force in support of the ground forces. This phase involves striking of targets that would simulate the enemy’s vital assets which would be engaged from the air by a variety of aircraft in the IAF’s inventory. In addition, the assault landing capability of the versatile C-130J aircraft and the fire fighting capability of the Mi-17V5, would also be displayed.

After the demonstration of live weapons, an array of aerobatic displays by the Sarang Team, the Suryakiran Team and the Su-30 would add fervour to the evening. The Air Warrior Drill Team and Air Force Symphony Orchestra would then enthral the audience with their performances on Terra Firma.

As night draws down upon the desert skies, the night capabilities of the IAF would come to fore. A number of targets would be engaged in this phase by fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters using rockets as well as bombs. The Combat Free-Fall jumps during the night would showcase how the IAF could take on insertion of troops deep into the enemy territory, undetected.

The entire event would showcase more than 22 types of platforms and Weapons systems.