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Rajasthan State PCS

  • 04 Apr 2024
  • 3 min read
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Gagan Shakti-2024

Why in News?

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to commence a ‘Gagan Shakti-2024’,10-day exercise to test its capabilities and preparedness for high-intensity operations.

Key Points

  • IAF showcases its might and capability during the exercise “in a realistic environment“ from April 1-10, 2024, involving all air force bases and assets scattered across the country.
    • ‘Gagan Shakti’ was last held in 2018 when the IAF clocked more than 11,000 sorties during the two-phase air manoeuvre that saw the concentration of the force’s deployed assets move from the western sector to the eastern front in less than 48 hours.
    • It sought to test the IAF’s readiness for a two-front war with China and Pakistan.
  • The latest drills follow the Vayu Shakti-2024 exercise, conducted at the Pokhran air-to-ground range near Jaisalmer, where the IAF deployed its frontline assets, including the Rafale fighter jets, Mirage-2000s, Sukhoi-30 MKIs, Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), Jaguars, Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, Apache attack helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and surface-to-air missile systems.
    • This year’s Vayu Shakti was followed by the tri-services Bharat Shakti exercise. The integrated tri-services ‘live fire and manoeuvre’ exercise displayed how the Indian military plans to leverage its indigenous capabilities for dominating the battlefield and crushing any threat to national security.
    • The exercise featured several weapons and systems, including Tejas LCA Mk-1, the light combat helicopter Prachand, armed advanced light helicopters, T-90 tanks, BMP-II infantry combat vehicles, drone launched precision guided munitions, a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, rockets, air defence weapons, and artillery guns such as the Dhanush, Sharang and K9 Vajra.
  • The IAF will host ‘Tarang Shakti’, a mega exercise that is expected to bring together 12 global air forces, with a focus on improving interoperability, imbibing best practices from one another and boosting military cooperation among the participating countries.
    • It will be the biggest multi-nation air exercise to be conducted on Indian soil.
    • It will involve fighter jets, transport aircraft, helicopters, mid-air refuellers, airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, and unmanned systems.

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