India’s top leadership, led by the President Pranab Mukherjee who is also the supreme commander of armed forces, on Saturday witnessed a spectacular and breathtaking display of the Indian Air Force’s combat and firepower capabilities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the three service chiefs were present at the firing range in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district to watch the exercise “”Iron Fist 2016.
Referring to the combat exercise Prime Minister Modi tweeted that he is happy to witness Iron Fist 2016 at Pokhran in the Thar Desert, with Rashtrapatiji. He noted that the firepower of the Air Force and the skill of the Air Warriors fills our hearts with immense pride. The Prime Minister said that the combat and manoeuvre skills, attack and defence capabilities displayed by IAF are spectacular and speak of the prowess and dedication of our forces. The exercise will showcase the journey of the IAFs transformation over the years and cover its glorious history while presenting its lethal side and delivering fire power both by the day as well as by night.Â
The primary objective of this exercise is to demonstrate the IAF’s capability to safeguard our national interests. During the exercise, the IAF projected its transformational state-of-the-art combat potential for meeting challenges be it from the air, land or sea.
The event comprised six packages depicting six themes in which more than 180 fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters are participating. Capability demonstration of the indigenously developed “”Tejas”” aircraft to deliver Laser Guided Bomb and fire a Air-to-Air Missile and the capability of the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter to carry out rocket firing was carried out for the first time. It was followed by a simulation of a Combat Search and Rescue operation carried out by the IAF’s versatile helicopters such as MI-35 and Mi-17V5. The firing of Akash Missile was also undertaken for the first time in the IAF’s history of Fire Power Demonstration.
As night drew down upon the desert skies, the night capabilities of the IAF came to the fore. A number of targets were engaged by fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters using rockets as well as bombs. The Combat Free-Fall jumps during the night showcased, how the IAF could take on insertion of troops deep into the enemy territory,Â undetected. The entire event showcased more than 22 types of platforms and Weapons systems.Â Frontline fighter aircraft including Sukhoi 30, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, MiG-29, Â Attack helicopters, Remotely Piloted Aircraft(RPA)Â and high tech AWACS displayed their potential during the show. Light Combat Aircraft “”Tejas”” and LCH the prestigious indigenous projects, were also a part of air display.