Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Reviews ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’

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Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa visits northern and western sector to review ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’ (Picture Courtesy :@IAF_MCC)

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on April 17, visited northern and western sectors during the first phase of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) exercise ‘Gagan Shakti’, to review the operational its strength of the force. The two-week long training exercise involves entire fleet strength of the IAF. The main aim of the exercise is to exhibit war preparedness and to test its capabilities in terms of equipment and stealth to perform operations.

Joint maritime operations are to be conducted in coordination with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. To test the capability of the IAF to take over a civil airport under control of hostile elements, Garud Commandoes took over the control of a designated airfield. The operations were executed with stealth and clockwork precision, which demonstrated IAF efficiency. The IAF also conducted Long Range Strike Mission over the extended area of the Indian Ocean (IOR). In the long range strike concept validation, Sukhoi 30-MKI carried out Air-Air Refueling and engaged multiple targets at ranges in excess of 2000 Kms.

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                                  Indian Air Force;s Paratroopers in action during ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’                                           (Picture Courtesy: IndianAir Force)

On Saturday, as part of the exercise, The IAF along with the Indian Army’s Parachute Brigade conducted a battalion level air drop from Hindon airbase, which demonstratd high coordination level between the two forces.  This air drop had 560 paratroopers, combat vehicles and GPS guided cargo platforms. 6 C-130Ja and 7 An-32 aircraft were part of the exercise.

According to inputs from ANI, more than 300 officers and around 15000 airmen from The Indian Air Force are participating in the exercise. Operational capabilities of indigenous built Tejas would also be tested in this exercise. Around 1,100 aircrafts including fighter jets, helicopters and transport carriers are part of this exercise. In an interview with The Indian Express, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said that “full credit goes to our engineers that we have built up the serviceability of fighter aircraft to 80 percent, compared to a target of 75 percent, and a dispatch reliability of more than 95 percent during Gagan Shakti exercise.”

In its latest leg of ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’, The IAF’s Sukhoi 30-MKI and Jaguar fighter jets equipped with anti-warships weaponry are flying over the Indian Ocean Region.

 

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Indian Navy Trolls China Through Tweets Over Patrolling in Indian Ocean Region

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                                             Chinese Naval Ships Patrolling in the Indian Ocean Region                                                         (Picture Courtesy: @IndianNavy/Twitter)

The Indian Navy on Tuesday conveyed a strong message to China in a very subtle and sarcastic way. The navy tweeted photographs of the Chines warships payrolling in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) during the time when The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducting the latest leg of the war-time exercise ‘Gagan Shakti 2018 with fighters jest like Sukhoi 30 MKI and Jaguar equipped with anti-warship weaponry flying over the region.

In its first tweet, the Indian Navy in a very sarcastic way said, “#MaritimeDomainAwareness @indiannavy extends a warm welcome to the 29th Anti-Piracy Escort Force (APEF) of PLA(N) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Happy Hunting.”

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Half an hour later in its second tweet the navy posted a map of the the Indian Ocean Region stating that 50 combat-ready Indian naval warships were carrying out continuous surveillance of the area.

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The 29th fleet from People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) left east China’s port city Zhoushan for the Gulf of Aden to escort civilian ships by carry out anti-piracy vigils off the Somali Coast. According to People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the fleet consists of 700 officers and soldiers, dozens of special operation soldiers, and two helicopters on board.

For the first time The Indian Navy has resorted to twitter to convey its message to China. The navy is keeping a close eye on the activities of Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean Region especially after Doklam stand-off. China’s has increased its patrols in the IOR after the stand-off. In October 2017, The Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba gave his approval for the deployment of mission-ready warships and aircrafts in the IOR to effectively counter China’s aggression. During Maldives crisis in February, Chinese warships were seeing patrolling in the region.