Over 120 planes including 77 fighter jets will take part in a war game at the Indian Air Force exercise ‘Vayu Shakti’, displaying its full spectrum of combat and fire capabilities at the Pokharan firing range, close to Pakistan border in Rajasthan, on February 17.

Fighter jets - Rafale Mirage-2000s, Sukhoi-30 MKIs, LCA Tejas, and Jaguars - helicopters Chinook, Apache, and Prachand, and unmanned aerial vehicles will be among the frontline assets which will take part in the exercise for the first time, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal AP Singh briefed reporters ahead of the ‘Vayu Shakti’ exercise happening after February 16, 2019.

“In a span of two hours, we will drop 40 to 50 tonnes of ordnance in a one to two-kilometre radius,” informed Air Marshal AP Singh.

Indigenous surface to air weapon systems, Akash and Samar, will demonstrate their capability to track and shoot down an intruding aircraft. “Exercise Vayu Shakti will be a demonstration of the IAF’s capability to deliver weapons with long range, precision capability as well as conventional weapon accurately, on time and with devastating effect, while operating from multiple air bases,” said the IAF said in a statement.

It will also exhibit joint operations with the army, which tri-services have been doing for some time ahead as they move towards proposed jointness. Special operations by the IAF transport and helicopter fleets, involving the Garuds and Indian Army elements will also be on display, it said.

As always, Ex Vayu Shakti will be a riveting demonstration of the offensive and defensive capabilities of the IAF, spanning across day and night, the IAF observed.