All frontline aircraft, including the Rafale fighter jets and Prachand attack choppers, will take part in the Indian Air Force’s Exercise Vayushakti, Air Force Vice Chief-Air Marshal AP Singh said on Friday. The exercise is scheduled to be held on February 17 in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer. “All frontline aircraft, including the Rafale fighter jets and Prachand attack choppers, would be taking part in Exercise Vayushakti. We would also be airlifting Army guns in the exercise,” AP Singh said here. The exercise Vayushakti has been going on since 1954.
The Air Force Vice Chief said that the IAF would be showcasing its capability to carry out accurate bombing on targets in the exercise. “The Made in India LCA Tejas, Prachand attack helicopters and ALH Dhruv would be taking part. In a span of two hours, we would be dropping around 40-50 tonnes of ordnance in a one- to two-kilometer radius,” he said. “Army to fire weapons from Rudra choppers during the exercise and the Ultra Light Howitzer of the Army would be showcased underslung a Chinook chopper,” he added.
Rafale fighter jets and Prachand choppers will be taking part for the first time in the exercise. The Samar surface-to-air weapon system would also be taking part in the exercise for the first time, he said. “Air-to-air missiles include the MICA missile from Rafale and R-73 missiles would be fired from the LCA Tejas,” the Vice Chief Air Marshal said.
The VayuShakti-2024 would be in the form of a major firepower demonstration in Jaisalmer where all the major fighter aircraft, including the Rafale, Su-30MKIs, LCA Tejas, Mirage 2000 and MiG-29s, would be showcasing their firepower by shooting different missiles and bombs at designated targets. 77 fighter planes, 41 helicopters and five transport aircraft will take part in the exercise. Further, there will be demonstrations of Surface To Air, Air To Air and Air-To Ground weapons. The next exercise planned by the Indian Air Force is the Exercise Gaganshakti which would see the entire Indian Air Force get activated from Ladakh to the Indian Ocean Region and from Bhuj to Arunachal Pradesh, the officials said.
The wargame being planned for April this year would see almost all the fleets of fighter aircraft, transport planes, helicopters and drones getting active along all the frontiers and carrying out both offensive and defensive missions as per the tasks assigned to them, they said. The S-400, or Sudarshan long-range air defence system, is also expected to be activated on both fronts including the western and northern sides, for the wargames. The pan-India-level exercise Gaganshakti, conducted once in five years, is also expected to see the Su-30s and the other maritime role fighter aircraft squadrons flying in close coordination with the naval assets, including the P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft and MiG-29K fighters.