AVIAINDRA-2018: IAF’s Special Forces ‘Garud’ Undertake Air-Borne Assault Operation in Anti-Terrorist Scenario

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Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa with Indian nd Russian pilots at Air Force Station Jodhpur (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

During the ongoing exercise Aviaindra-2018 between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFASF), the IAF’s Special Forces ‘GARUD’ undertook an airborne assault operation in an anti-terrorist scenario at Air Force Station Jodhpur. The An-32 aircraft of the IAF was piloted by a mix crew of IAF and RFASF. Indian and Russian pilots also flew Sukhoi-30MKI during the exercise. The second leg of the joint exercise started from December 10 and is scheduled to continue till December 21. The first phase was held in at Lipetsk, Russia from September 17 to 28.

Yesterday, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa interacted with pilots of both the air forces. Chief of the Air Staff was received by Air Commodore Philip Thomas, Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Jodhpur. The second edition of Ex AVIAINDRA is aimed at exposing RFASF and IAF pilots to single/multi aircraft missions in a Counter Terrorism Scenario within the predefined scope.  The 30 member RFASF contingent comprises of fighter, transport and helicopter pilots.

During the interaction, Chief of the Air Staff welcomed RFASF team and emphasised the importance of joint exercises, as they create an environment of camaraderie and provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices. Meanwhile, earlier in December, the IAF also conducted the fourth edition of the Cope India exercise with the United States Air Force (USAF) at Kalaikunda Air Force Station. Both the IAF and the USAF practiced airborne assaults on ‘enemy’ territory.

AVIAINDRA 2018: Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Interacts With IAF And RFASF Pilots at Jodhpur Air Force Station

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Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa interacts with Russian and Indian Air Force Pilots during AVIAINDRA 2018 (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff visited Air Force Station Jodhpur on December 2018 to interact with the participating forces of ongoing second leg of Exercise AVIAINDRA 2018 between Indian Air Force (IAF) and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFASF). Chief of the Air Staff was received by Air Commodore Philip Thomas, Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Jodhpur. The second edition of Ex AVIAINDRA is aimed at exposing RFASF and IAF pilots to single/multi aircraft missions in a Counter Terrorism Scenario within the predefined scope.  The 30 member RFASF contingent comprises of fighter, transport and helicopter pilots. India, China Resume Joint Military Training ‘Hand-in-Hand’; Indian Army’s 11 SikhLi Participates in The Exercise.

The Chief of the Air Staff was briefed in detail about various phases of the exercise and was apprised of its progress. Post briefing, Chief of the Air Staff visited the RFASF and IAF detachment, wherein he interacted with the personnel of both the Air Forces. During the interaction, Chief of the Air Staff welcomed RFASF team and emphasised the importance of joint exercises, as they create an environment of camaraderie and provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices. Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Soldiers Teach Bhangra to Chinese Army Troops During Joint Military Drill; Watch Video.

 

He spoke about the long standing military partnership between RFASF and IAF and the common equipment that both the nations operate. He complimented the efficacy of Russian equipment, as it has played a pivotal role during various IAF air campaigns. Ex AVIAINDRA is a testimony of the Indo-Russian Military relationship and would enhance mutual cooperation and understanding between IAF and RFASF.

The second leg of the joint exercise started from December 10 and is scheduled to continue till December 21. The first phase was held in at Lipetsk, Russia from September 17 to 28. Meanwhile, earlier in December, the IAF also conducted the fourth edition of the Cope India exercise with the United States Air Force (USAF) at Kalaikunda Air Force Station. Both the IAF and the USAF practiced airborne assaults on ‘enemy’ territory using their C-130 aircraft and fighter jets including the F-15s from the US and the SU-30MKI, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar fighters from India.

ISRO Launches Satellite GSAT-7A to Enhance Communication Capabilities of Indian Air Force

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ISRO launched communication satellite GSAT-7A from Sriharikota (Picture Courtesy: http://www.isro.gov.in)

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today launched its military communication satellite GSAT-7A from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It is the 35th Indian communication satellite. The weight of GSAT-7A is 2,250 kg. The satellite is expected to enhance the efficiency of the Indian Air Force (IAF) by adding a new space-based dimension to the way it interlinks, operates and communicates with its aircraft.

With the aim to expand the communication capabilities of the IAF, the GSAT-7A will be the first satellite built primarily designed to improve combined, common intelligence during operations. It will connect many of the ground radar stations, airbases and aircrafts operated by the force. The satellite is also expected to boost network-dependant warfare and drone capabilities. Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa hailed the launch. He said that the communication to aircraft through the satellite will be made possible with this launch.

The satellite is using Ku-band which can enable superior real time aircraft-to-aircraft communication between fighter jets while in flight and their commanders on the ground. He satellite will be released into geostationary orbit equipped with solar panels and reflectors by the GSLV-F11 space vehicle. GSLV-F11 is the 13th flight of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its 7th flight with indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).The launch vehicle will release the satellite around 36,000 Km away from the earth. The GSAT-7A is the 17th successful space mission of the ISRO in 2018.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Raises Concern Over Chinese Air Force’s Increasing Presence in Tibet

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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: PTI/File)

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on April 26, said that there was a ‘significant increase’ in the presence Chinese aircraft and aircrew in the Tibet Autonomous region as compared to any other military region. This statement of the Chief of Air Staff comes at the time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in China for a two-day meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While speaking at a talk on the role of the IAF in the changing security environment conducted by the Vivekananda International Foundation, Dhanoa said, “Over the past few years we have seen a significant increase in aircraft and aircrew in the Tibet Autonomous Region from other military regions. The deployment of Sukhoi-27 and J-10 fleets for continuous operations during winter months affords them a credible year-round capability. Earlier, many years back they only used to occupy the airfields during the summers.” reported The Economic Times. Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa also warned India to step up preparations, as rival country is strengthening its fire power.

The IAF chief also highlighted the improvement made by the Chinese Air Force. According to Dhanoa, China has developed a modern air force which believes in quality rather than quantity. and China has also the second largest air force in the world. Decribing the capabilities of the Chinese Air Force, Dhanoa said that China had a mix of multi-role fighter and combat aircraft. The IAF Chief also stressed on the fact that China has geographical disadvantage in Tibet due to high altitude and cold temperatures.

The Chief of Air Staff also highlighted the strength of the Indian Air Force, but at the same time, he stressed on the fact that the IAF needs to acquire its full strength of 42 squadrons to compete with the growing air power of the neighbour country. Presently the Indian Air Force has 31 fighter squadrons.

The Air Chief appreciated the efforts of the force in the recently concluded war-like exercise ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’ as it met the objectives of the force. It is very interesting to note that both India and China have never violated the each other’s airspace.

World War II Aircraft ‘Dakota DC-3’ Reaches India to Re-Join Indian Air Force

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Dakota Dc-3 (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

The Indian Air Force welcomes the Dakota DC-3, VP905, home. The Aircraft VP905 got airborne from Muscat International Airport, Oman and touched down at Jamnagar Air Force Station (AFS), Gujarat at 16:30 hours on Wednesday. The aircraft was received with a lot of splendour at AFS Jamnagar. To honour the old warhorse in its new residence, induction ceremony is scheduled on 04 May 18 at Air Force Station Hindan.

A Dakota DC-3 aircraft  inducted  into the Vintage Aircraft Fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The vintage fleet was raised in Palam in 1988. A large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the IAF till 1988. It was one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time. The first Dakota aircraft transferred the 1st Sikh Regiment to Srinagar during the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan in 1947 just after India’s independence. It is World War II-era aircraft, which was built in 1944. It also served in the United Kingdom’s (UK) Royal Air Force.

The particular aircraft is recovered from the scarp from the UK by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Rajeev Chandrashekhar. He gifted this aircraft to the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S Dhanoa had ceremonially accepted the aircraft into the IAF from Rajeev Chandrasekhar in February this year. His father air commodore M K Chandrasekhar (Retired) was a veteran Dakota pilot in the IAF. It will bear the tail number VP 905, the same one which the first such Dakota which transported troops to Srinagar on October 27, 1947.

The crew is seen posing with the beautiful machine along with the Commander-in-chief SWAC, team Jamnagar & Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar MP Rajya Sabha.

The Dakota DC- is named Parshuram. The IAF had signed a contract with M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd London for upgrading its navigational systems. The Dakota is being flown to India by a joint crew of the Indian Air Force and M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd.

Indian Air Force Conducts Advance Landing Ground Operations During ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’

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IAF is conducting Advance Landing Ground (ALG) Operations in North East Sector as part of Gagan Shakti 2018                                                                                                                                              (Picture Courtesy: Arunachal24.in)

The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in several areas in North East sector as part of the ongoing Gagan Shakti 2018 exercise. ALGs are unprepared airstrips which are usually placed at a short notice in far flung areas having challenging terrain with limited rail and road connectivity.

As India has many border areas which have limited connectivity, so the need for ALGs is critical. ALGs can transform the area into forward strike bases for the IAF if and when required. The IAF conducted Inter Valley Troop Transfers (IVTT), Special Heliborne Operations, Air Landed Operations and Special Operations by operationalising and utilising several ALGs.

IVTT Operations were carried out in Uttar Bharat Hills and at the Tezu-Walong in the north-east sector. Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter jets are also operating from almost every ALGs in the north-east sector.

Unpredictable weather, tough terrain, narrow corridor of approach and short runway lengths makes operation exteremely tough for pilots. The IAF appreciated the precision and efficiency of its personnel. According to the Ibdin Air Force, such type of precision and professionalism is important in determining the success of tactical operations.

As a part of Gagan Shakti 2018, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa inspected Air to Ground armament fired by Sukhoi 30-MKI and Mi-17 at DM Range, Assam. The exercise reflected IAF’s all-weather bombing capabilities and pin point precision. The Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Air Chief Marshal also reviewed the taking off of Su-30 aircraft from Pasighat ALG amidst the challenging terrain of Arunachal Pradesh.  Sitharaman also addressed media in Chabua, Assam.

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Defence Minister along with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa addresses media in Chabua, Assam (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@DefMinIndia)

Gagan Shakti is the biggest military exercise in decades undertaken by  the IAF  to showcase its  dominance over the entire extended area of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the biggest ever war combat game exercise on the Pakistan and China border.