Lethal capability of the Indian Air Force were displayed in front of the world when diplomats and senior officers and other dignitaries watched the “Vayu Shakti-2019” being held in the Pokhran field firing range of Jaisalmer. As has been reported earlier, indigenous aircraft weapons and equipment are participating in the day/dusk Vayu Shakti Fire power exercise.
A variety of weapons are being used during the demonstration, including guns, rockets of different calibre, bombs, smart weapons, surface-to-air-guided weapons and air-to-air weapons.
Total 81 fighters of the IAF including: Mig-29 (7); Jaguar (17); SU-30 MKI (24); MiG 27 (upgraded) (11); BISON (4); M 2000 (4); Hawk (8); Tejas (6). There will 35 Transport and Helicopters including AN 32 (4); C-130 (5); AEW&C (1); Mi 17 V5 (15); ALH MK IV (7) and MI 35 (3).
For the first time IAF is showcasing Light Combat aircraft `Tejas’ in its swing role capability, Advance Light Helicopter `Dhruv’, AEW&C systems on Embraer platform; Akash surface to surface missile and Astra air to air missile will be fired.
Ahead of the exercise, IAF’s Vice-Chief Air Marshal Anil Khosla had said that said “Some 137 aircraft, including 81 fighter jets, are going to take part in the exercise to showcase the IAF’s strength. Vayu Shakti is held once in three years. MiG, Jaguar, Su 30, Hawk, Tejas and Mirage 2000 are among other jets which will participate in the exercise.”
Vayu Shakti, which is a fire power demo, is basically display of what can be done to identified targets whether on the ground or in the air.
The demonstration will be carried out during day, dusk and night to showcase the capability of IAF to operate 24×7. For the first time Vayu Shakti-2019 will showcase upgraded MiG 29 in air-to-ground role and Akash firing, he added. IAF’s ability to detect targets, swiftly identify them and neutralise the targets with precision. Some eight bases will participate in the exercise including Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Uttarlai, Phalodi, NAL, Bathinda, Hindan, and Agra.
The first fire power demonstration was held in 1953 at Tilpat range in New Delhi.