Jaipur: The Indian Air Force will on Friday demonstrate its combat and fire power capabilities as part of the mammoth Exercise Iron Fist 2016.
The exercise will be witnessed by President Pranab Mukherjee, the supreme commander of India's armed forces, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the deserts of Pokhran, Rajasthan.
The mammoth exercise in the Thar Desert would witness participation of 181 aircraft. These aircraft will depart from multiple bases and perform a synchronised aerial ballet to demonstrate their deadly combat capability.
IAF would showcase its multi-layered air defence operations which will comprise fly-past by flight refuelling aircraft, IL-78 FRA, along with two Su-30 aircraft which will demonstrate the ability to extend on-station endurance and strategic reach of fighter aircraft. This phase would also include surface-to-air guided weapons like IGLA shoulder-fired missile system and the OSA-AK missiles striking down airborne targets.
Capability demonstration of the indigenously developed 'Tejas' aircraft to deliver laser-guided bomb and fire an air-to-air missile and the capability of the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter to carry out rocket firing would be carried out for the first time.
The demonstration will also see the power of Akash Missile for the first time. At the same time, 22 types of platforms and weapons systems will be showcased at the event.
The exercise will also showcase the journey of the IAF’s transformation over the years.
To showcase this would be a flypast showing IAF's journey over eight decades, with the aircraft of yesteryears like Tiger Moth flying along with the latest acquisitions of IAF. The flypast by a mixed formation comprising MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29 and the mighty Su-30, would represent the transformation of IAF over the decades.
Glimpses of an exponential increase in the operational capabilities of the Air Force with focus on the concept of all weather, network-centric operations, precision weapon delivery and ability to deliver lethal fire power would also be on display.
On show will be net-enabling operations of aircraft as well as a synchronised weapon delivery demonstration comprising precision based bombing at simulated targets by Mirage-2000, Su-30, MiG-27 and Jaguar.
Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' and Light Combat Helicopters would also be a part of air display.
Transport aircraft like the An-32, Embraer, IL-76, IL-78 and C-130J would participate in all their glory while medium lift helicopters (Mi-17, Mi-17 1V, Mi-17V5) and attack helicopters (Mi-25, Mi-35) would also showcase their capabilities.
Visitors will also be enthralled to see aerobatic displays by modern combat aircraft like the Su-30 MKI, Sarang and the Surya Kiran Aerobatic team.
Pokhran is the place where India had conducted nuclear tests in 1974 and in 1998.
(With agency inputs)