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The Indian Air Force (IAF) recently conducted a successful activation of an Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) located on National Highway-16 in Andhra Pradesh. This activation marks a significant step towards enhancing the IAF’s operational flexibility and disaster response capabilities.

The exercise involved various IAF aircraft, showcasing the ELF’s suitability for a range of missions. Fighter jets like the Su-30 MKI and Hawk Mk 132 demonstrated the ability for swift deployment in times of need. Transport aircraft such as the An-32 and Dornier Do-228 successfully performed takeoffs and landings, highlighting the ELF’s capacity to support logistical operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions in remote locations.

The utilization of ELFs strategically positioned on highways expands the IAF’s operational reach. These facilities provide alternative landing zones in case of emergencies or situations where traditional airbases are unavailable. This increased flexibility strengthens the IAF’s ability to respond promptly to contingencies and threats across the nation.

The successful activation of the ELF on NH-16 is particularly relevant for HADR missions. During natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances, these landing strips can be crucial for delivering critical supplies and personnel to affected areas, particularly those cut off from conventional airfields.