Jaisalmer, Feb 15 (PTI) The Indian Air Force will demonstrate its full spectrum combat and fire capabilities during 'Exercise Vayu Shakti-2019' in Pokharan firing range close to Indo-Pak border in Rajasthan on Saturday. Akash missile firing, gun firing from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and MiG 29's air-to-ground role will be among four "first-time demonstrations" in the exercise which is scheduled to be attended by Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Indigenously developed weapons, aircraft and equipment displayed in the exercise will be Akash (mid-range surface-to-air missile), Astra (all-weather beyond visual range air-to-air missile), light combat aircraft Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) systems on Embraer (aircraft) platform.
Ability to detect targets, multi-spectrum capability, swift identification and neutralising targets with precision will be displayed in the 1.55-hour long exercise aimed at showcasing the force's capabilities to prosecute 24X7 air operations.Fighter planes like MiG29, Jaguar, Sukhoi, Mirage-2000, transport aircraft like AN-32, C130, Mi-17 VS and MI-35 helicopters will be among other aircraft flying and demonstrate its capabilities in the exercise.
"Exercise Vayu Shakti will take place on Saturday in Pokharan. A full dress rehearsal was conducted on Thursday," defence spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh said. The firepower demonstration by the IAF is conducted once in three years which is participated by fighters, transports, helicopters, force enablers and support systems.
First such demonstration was held on July 21, 1953, at Tilpat range in New Delhi. The last demonstration at Tilpat was conducted on March 18, 1989, and thereafter the event moved to Pokharan range in Rajasthan, which shares the border with Pakistan.