The biggest ever Indian Air Force (IAF) combat exercise Gagan Shakti was kick-started from Wednesday (April 11) along the Pakistan and China borders, and it saw the participation of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for the first time.
Over 11 aircraft have been deployed for this exercise at different operational locations. This exercise is unique as the India-made LCA Tejas is being deployed at forward bases.
During the first phase of the exercise on Wednesday, all the deployed LCA aircraft had participated.
“The operational efficiency and mission worthiness of these platforms would be put to test in a real-time intense exercise environment” read an official IAF release.
The release also mentioned that “A milestone towards ‘Make in India’, LCA will employ Close Combat and Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missiles in a simulated scenario apart from Air to Ground weapons.”
The scale of the exercise can be gauged from the fact that just from Air Force more than 300 officers and more than 15,000 airmen have been mobilised. Joint operations scenario with the Army and the Navy are also a part of this exercise.
The pan India synergised exercise will showcase the multi-spectrum capabilities, both offensive and defensive. The IAF will conduct all terrain operations- desert, high altitude, maritime scenarios and special operations- in the real time.
Gagan Shakti exercise will go on till April 23.