The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday carried out the mega 2019 Vayushakti exercise in Pokhran, Rajasthan, involving almost all variants of its fighter jets and attack helicopters, in a fire power demonstration.
In the exercise, the IAF showcased the capability of the Griffin Laser Guided Bomb (LGB), a laser-guided bomb system. It is an add-on kit which is used to retrofit gravity bombs, making them into laser-guided smart ammunition.
The IAF posted a video on both Facebook and Twitter giving the details of the bomb system. A Su-30MKI pilot, Squadron Leader Ishaan Kelkar, briefed about the LGB, dropped at Pokhran during the exercise.
The Griffin was fired on the target alloted and the particular ammunition has an accuracy of about plus/minus five metres.
"Everyday when we get airborne it gives us a great sense of satisfaction and pride when we achieve the target and come back. Our ground staff people has been working hard day and night towards achieving the full functionality of the fighter so that we achieve our target on time, every time. It is a great privelege for me to fly everyday and achieve the target that we have been alloted," said the Squadron leader.
Several other indigenously-developed platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and efficacy of the Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile were also showcased.
Fighter jets and helicopters hit targets during day and night. It was for the first time, the ALH and the Akash were deployed in a military exercise.
The IAF also deployed the upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role during the exercise. A total of 137 aircraft including Su-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules, AN-32 aircraft participated.
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, defence attaches of several countries and top officials of defence ministry also witnessed the exercise. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is an honorary group captain of the IAF, was also present.