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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up for its grand war exercise, ‘Gagan Shakti,’ scheduled from April 1 to 10. This large-scale drill, touted as the biggest since Vayu Shakti, aims to comprehensively test the IAF’s war preparedness and firing capabilities.

Spanning across various locations in India, Gagan Shakti will witness a display of the IAF’s aerial prowess at the Pokhran field firing range in Jaisalmer. Additionally, the exercise will be conducted in Bhuj (Gujarat), Ladakh, the western front, the northeast front in Arunachal Pradesh, and other key areas.

The ten-day drill will serve as a platform to test a wide array of IAF’s air assets. This includes modern fighter jets like Tejas, Rafale, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, and MiG-29. Cargo flights, attack helicopters like the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), fighter helicopters, and drones will also be extensively tested. Notably, the exercise will also see the participation of indigenously developed equipment manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Gagan Shakti presents a crucial opportunity for the IAF to assess its operational readiness in a simulated war environment. By testing its aircraft, weaponry, and logistics under pressure, the IAF can identify areas for improvement and refine its war-fighting strategies. The exercise is also expected to boost pilot and crew confidence and enhance inter-service coordination with the Army and Navy.