Gaganshakti 2018: 10 spectacular videos that show IAF’s might!

By: | Published: April 25, 2018 5:24 PM

The Gaganshakti 2018 was successful in validating the IAF's war preparedness and strength for a two-front war with China and Pakistan. The Gaganshakti 2018 was largest ever all-encompassing combat-ready exercise carried out by the Indian Air Force. It was conducted by synergizing inputs from all three services.

Gaganshakti 2018, countrywide all-encompassing largest combat ready exercise witnessed participation of over 1100 aircraft, which includes fighter jets, transport aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters. The IAF carried out real time combat operations in both western and eastern sectors. (Source: IAF Twitter)

The all-encompassing, combat-ready air exercise Gaganshakti 2018, was successfully carried out by the Indian Air Force to validate the operational capability and war preparedness. The exercise was carried out in two phases, one along the Pakistan border in the western sector and one along the China border in the eastern sector. Gaganshakti 2018 which was carried out by the IAF between April 8th to 22nd, also included joint operations with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. To carry out an exercise of such a massive scale, the Indian Air Force had prepared its operations and had started its planning 10 months before it began on April 8th. By carrying out real-time coordination, deployment of air power, the Indian Air Force not just successfully tested its capabilities to fight intense battles, but was also be able to achieve better interaction with the other services to carry out special operations. The phase one of Gaganshakti was carried out in the western sector along the border of Pakistan. The exercise involved activation of Western, South Western and Southern Air Commands and inputs were also taken from the army and the navy. After the completion of the first phase, the entire resources were shifted to the eastern sector within a span of 48 hours. In the eastern sector, the same Air Commands were redeployed to carry out intense operations along the China border.

The Gaganshakti 2018 saw the participation of fighter jet like Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs, Jaguars, MiG-29s, Mirage-2000s, MiG-21s, Hawk and even indigenously developed Tejas. Watch here the invincible Su-30 undertaking incessant Dusk-Night-Dawn operations in the western sector during the first phase of Gaganshakti 2018.

Tejas LCA, a supersonic, single seat, single engine, a multirole light fighter jet, participated in its first ever combat-ready exercise. Despite developing some snag at the initial stages, Tejas was on par with other fighter jets and was used to carry out six sorties in one day. Tejas was also used for night operations during Gaganshakti 2018.

As part of Gaganshakti 2018, a special HeliBorne Operations (SHBO) mission was also conducted by two MI-17 V5 helicopters of the IAF. A Tri-Services SF Troops were inducted into the objective area to capture the heli-runway.

IAF personnel also carried out a combat free fall (CFF) and special airborne operations from altitudes of 12,000-30,000 feet. The aim of the operation was to carry out real time insertion of paratroopers into the enemy territory. The troops carried out the exercise both during the day and night time.

The IAF’s also carried out Long Range Strike Missions, over the extended area of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Keeping in the mind, the activities of Chinese in the Indian Ocean waters, the IAF carried out long range strike validation using Su-30 fighter aircraft.

Para Commandos, soldiers from Special Forces, MARCOS and Garud were also deployed into real time war zone scenarios. The Paratroops successfully carried out small team insertion and extrication (STIE) Operations.

Airborne assault missions were carried out by Combat Rubberised Raiding Craft and Combat ready Commandos at night time. This mission also included where the special forces were in areas where they were surrounded by water as a part of the exercise.

The operational Commands of the Indian Air Force executed Inter Valley Troop Transfer (IVTT) in collaboration with the Indian Army. The IVTT was carried out in the high mountains of North East India.

The Gaganshakti 2018 was a largest ever all-encompassing combat-ready exercise that was successfully carried out by the Indian Air Force. A total of 15,000 personnel participated in the exercise. With the IAF carrying out 11,000 sorties in total along the Pakistan and China border, proved its war preparedness and strength for a two-front war its neighbours.

The Gaganshakti 2018 exercise included all types of combat and battle scenario missions. Taking inputs from the Navy and the Army, the Air Force was successful in carrying out an all-encompassing air campaign. Fighter aircraft carried out around sorties around the clock. The sorties also included long-range missions with concentrated life and simulated weapon release. The Indian Air Force carried out these weapon releases in the air to air, air to ground and also air to water categories. Joint operations with the navy such as maritime reconnaissance, combat search and rescue and mass casualty evacuation were also carried out efficiently. All in all, the synergised combat exercise carried out by the Indian Air Force through is accelerated operations, network-centric missions proved that the Indian Defence Forces were ready to combat an offensive manoeuvring tactic and a two-front war with Pakistan and China.

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