Gaganshakti 2018: Nirmala Sitharaman witnesses IAF’s biggest combat exercise in Chabua

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New Delhi | Updated: April 20, 2018 12:53:57 PM

Gaganshakti 2018, is an all-encompassing, country-wide war training exercise that is being conducted by the Indian Air Force. The exercises began on April 8th and will end on April 22nd. The first phase was carried out in the western sector along the borders of Pakistan. Now, the exercise is in its last phase, being carried out in the Eastern sector.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal witness Gaganshakti 2018, which is taking place in full swing in the Eastern sector.

Gaganshakti 2018: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Chabua in Assam to witness the ongoing Gaganshakti 2018 – said to be IAF’s biggest combat exercise. She was also accompanied by Chief of the Air Staff, Chief Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa. Minister Sitharaman assessed the operations that were carried out by Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and the rocket loading on Mil Mi-17 V5 helicopters. She also witnessed Indian Air Force’s Garuds assault drill at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh.

After witnessing the operations at Chabua, Nirmala Sitharaman visited the air to ground weapons range at Dulong Mukh. The Indian Air Force was carrying out an operation of planned and coordinated strike using a Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets. The fighter jets were fitted with laser guided explosives of 1000 lbs, conventional bombs of both 1000 and 100 lbs. There were also operations to check the strike capability of Mil Mi-17 V5 copters. A statement from the Ministry of Defence said that the operations were successful in delivering 80mm rockets on a simulated target.

Watch: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa oversee the taking off of Su-30 aircraft from Pasighat ALG in Arunachal Pradesh.

After witnessing the air strike operations and other activities of Gaganshkati 2018, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman interacted extensively with the Indian Air Force personnel. The Defence Minister was also briefed about the increasing employment of air power in defending the Eastern sector.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has initiated the ambitious Make II procedure to increase indigenisation of defence products. She has also been constantly assessing the preparedness and operational capabilities of the defence forces. It is a motivating thing for the air force personnel to also have witnessed Defence Minister flying the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft few months ago, read a statement from the Indian Air Force.

Gaganshakti 2018, is an all encompassing, country-wide war training exercise that is being conducted by the Indian Air Force. The exercises began on April 8th and will end on April 22nd. The first phase was carried out in the western sector along the borders of Pakistan. Now, the exercise is in its last phase, being carried out in the Eastern sector. It took the IAF only 48 hours to move its assets from the Western sector and it is now deployed along the Eastern region and operations are taking place in full swing.

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