Pakistan Air Force Pilot Shahzaz Ud Din Whose F-16 Was Shot Down by Wg Cd Abhinandan Varthaman Mistaken to be Indian; Lynched by PoK Locals?

On February 27, 2019, Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter jets. DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor claimed that Pakistan had captured one Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, while other two were in the area. But on the same day in the evening, he changed his statement. In another tweet, DG ISPR made a u-turn and said that there was only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. He added that Wing Commander Abhinanadan was being treated with full military ethics.

Maj Gen. Ghafoor’s second tweet gave birth to many questions – why the earlier statement was changed from two pilots to one? what happened to the second pilot, who according to Pakistan was admitted to a hospital after sustaining injuries? why Pakistan is silent about the second pilot? Meanwhile, just couple of hours before the second claim of DG ISPR, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also claimed to have captured two Indian pilots. According to him one was in the custody of the Pakistan Army and the other one was in hospital. Pakistan’s F-16 Which Violated Indian Air Space Shot Down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Mig-21 Bison; IAF Presents Cover of AMRAAM Missile As Evidence.

On February 27, the day when the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) violated the Indian airspace, IAF’s fighter jets  Mig 21 Bisons, Su-30 MKI and Mirage-2000s intercepted the enemy aircraft. In the ensuing battle, IAF’s Mig-21 Bison flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down PAF’s F-16 warplane which Wing Commander Shahzaz Ud Din was flying, claimed reports. However, Wg Cdr Varthaman’s plane was also hit either by a Pakistan’s missile from ground or from another PAF jet which is still not clear. Both the pilots ejected from their respective planes and landed at different locations in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). F-16 Block 70 or Gripen E for Indian Air Force?

Meanwhile, Pak security forces saved IAF Wing Commander Varthaman from a mob and was taken to the Pakistani Army base, but PAF’s pilot who landed in Laam Valley, stretching out westward from Nowshehra into PoK was reportedly lynched by its own citizens, for mistaking him to be an Indian pilot. The PAF Wing Commander flew for the 19 Squadron, also known as the ‘Sher-Dils’. Later, he was taken to he hospital where he succumbed to injuries. When Pakistan realised what exactly happpened, its army changed the statement. IAF Wg Cd Varthaman is a son of Air Marshal (Retd) S Varthaman, while PAF’s Wg Cd Shahzaz was a son of Air Marshal Waseem Ud Din, DCAS (Operations) of the PAF.

The news about Shahzaz was reported by UK-based lawyer Umar Khaleed.

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A local confirming that two pilots were seen landing in PoK.

Pakistan also declined to accept the fact that their plane was shot down by the Indian Mig 21 Bison. It is possibly because the United States of America restricted Pakistan at the time of the contract from inadvertent usage of F-16 fighter jets apart from anti-terror operations.

Meanwhile, Wg Cd Varthaman returned to India via Attari border. He was released by Pakistan almost 60 hours after he was taken into custody by the Pakistani Army following an ensuing battle in which he shot down the PAF’s F-16 with his MIg-21 Bison.

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Pakistan’s F-16 Which Violated Indian Air Space Shot Down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Mig-21 Bison; IAF Presents Cover of AMRAAM Missile As Evidence

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday exposed lies of Pakistan. During a joint press briefing of tri-service wings in New Delhi, Air Vice Marshal Ravi Kapoor showed an evidence to reporters that Pakistan used F-16 fighter jet to violated the Indian air space on February 27. The IAF presented a cover of AMRAAM missile fired from the Pakistani F-16 aircraft as a proof to prove its point. The F-16 was shot down by IAF’s Mig 21 Bison fighter jet during an engaging battle. F-16 Block 70 or Gripen E for Indian Air Force.

Briefing the media, Air Vice Marshal Ravi Kapoor said, “There is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission through their electronic signatures. Parts of AMRAAM, air to air missile which is carried only on the Pakistani F-16s was recovered east of Rajouri within the Indian territory.” Indian Air Force to get 110 Fighter Jets; Will it Suffice?

Insights about AMRAAM:

The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) is a modern American beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. The missile is designedwith a 7-inch (180mm) diameter form-and-fit factor. It is employed with active transmit-receive radar guidance instead of semi-active receive-only radar guidance, it has the advantage of being a fire-and-forget weapon. Pulwama Attack: Over 40 CRPF Jawans Martyred; Here is The List of Major Terror Attacks by JeM Against India.

The missile is capable of carrying 18.1kg high-explosive blast fragmentation and has a range of 40-50 kilometre. In early 2006, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) ordered 500 AIM-120C-5 AMRAAM missiles as part of a $650 million F-16 ammunition deal to equip its F-16C/D Block 50/52+ and F-16A/B Block 15 MLU fighters. Currently, the missile is procured by 37 countries.

Pakistan signed a contract with the United States in November 2006 to procure the missiles. According to a contract dated November 17, 2006, Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $269,646,834 firm-fixed-price contract modification, so this action is exercising an option to purchase 500 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) Air Vehicles (AAVs) Air Intercept Missile (AIM) – 120C-5 missiles and rehost which in turn supports foreign military sales to Pakistan 100%. The contract further stated, at this time, total funds have been obligated. This work will be complete April 2011 and headquarters Medium Range Missile Systems Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8675-05-C-0070/P00028).

Meanwhile, the F-16 was shot down by the IAF’s Mig-21 Bison was also ex-Jordanian. According to sources, F-16.net database confirms the aircraft number, as the number hand-written on the engine component corresponds with the aircraft ID number from back when it was still in Jordanian service. Meanwhile, In February 2014, Pakistan placed an order for an entire squadron of 14 (some sources say 13) F-16 A/Bs with the RJAF and delivery of the F-16 aircraft began in April 2015, reported The Diplomat. However, the US blocked the second batch of F-16 in 2016. These AMRAAMs sold to Jordan (also under 0070 contract) were sold to Pakistan as package along with the F-16A/Bs. These F-16A/Bs were later upgraded to F-16C/D standard by TAI in Turkey.

Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that his government will release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF pilot who was captured by the Pakistan Army after his aircraft was shot down. The IAF pilot engaged the Pakistan fighter jets which violated the Indian air space on February 27, a day after the IAF conducted air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot. In the processed he crossed the Line of Control (LoC). As per reports, Wg Cd. Varthaman shot down PAF’s F-16 before getting hit. It was the time when the fourth generation F-16 fighter jet was hit by the second generation Mig-21 Bison aircraft.

Pulwama Attack: Over 40 CRPF Jawans Martyred; Here is The List of Major Terror Attacks by JeM Against India

On February 14, India lost over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a suicide attack in Awantipora of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack. The 22-year-old Adil Ahmed Dar carried out the attack. He rammed his car carrying 80 kgs of explosive into one of the buses of the convoy. Naik Buta Singh Martyred While Serving at 2nd Highest Post in Sikkim, Air India Staff, Passengers Stand Up to Honour Indian Army Soldier, Watch Video

A day after the attack, India scrapped the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status from Pakistan. India also accelerated the process to isolate Pakistan globally. Countries around the globe condemned the attack and asked the Pakistan to stop providing safe haven to terrorists. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s all-weather ally China ducked the question of supporting India in declaring Azhar Masood, the JeM chief a global terrorist. While paying homage to the martyrs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a wow to give befitting reply to the perpetrators of the attack. However, Pakistan refused any hand in the attack.

In December 1999, Masood along with two other terrorists were released after terrorists hijacked the Indian Airlines Flight 814 scheduled to fly from Kathmandu to Delhi, and diverted it to Kandahar, where they were looked after by the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani officials stationed at the airport. Masood then formed the JeM with the help of  Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Major terrorist attacks by JeM apart from Pulwama Attack of February 14:

  • On April 20, 2000, JeM carried out the first suicide bombing in Kashmir, exploding a bomb in an Indian army barracks. Five Indian soldiers were martyred in the attack.
  • In October 2001, JeM carried out a bombing near the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly, killing 38 people and claiming responsibility for it.
  • In December 2001, JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists launched a suicide attack on the Indian Parliament in which eight security personnel were martyred.
  • In January 2016, the group attacked on the Pathankot air base in which seven security personnel were martyred.
  • In September 2016, JeM terrorists attacked the Indian brigade headquarters in Uri. A total of 19 Indian soldiers were martyred in the attack. After the attack, the Indian Army conducted surgical strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

 

 

Indian Army’s Month-Long Exercise ‘Vijay Prahar’ Concludes; Around 25,000 Soldiers Participated

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Representationl Image (Picture Courtesy: Tribuneindia.com)

The Indian Army’s ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise concluded today. Around 25,000 troops of strike formation of South Western Command (SWC) participated in the exercise. The month-long exercise was conducted in the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges of Jaipur close to Suratgarh in Rajasthan. Pakistan border was 300Kms away from the location of the exercise. The ‘Vijay Prahar’ was carried out with cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art force multipliers.

South Western Army Commander Lt Gen Cherish Mathson was present in the range on the last day of the exercise to witness the final offensive of the forces achieving a decisive victory. Lt Gen Mathson told reporters, “I had laid out unambiguous scope for activities to be carried out and had also benchmarked standards to be achieved. I am fully satisfied with the efforts put in and results achieved.” He further added that designing an offensive campaign on the principles of operational art in a deep air-land battle with real-time intelligence marked the beginning of the exercise.

The concept of ‘Air Cavalry’ using attack and weaponised helicopters was validated during the exercise. Employment of modern-day sensors with weapon platforms was carried out. The exercise also focussed on real-time information and enhancing electronic warfare, reconnaissance capabilities and using satellite-based surveillance. Drones and radars were also put to test to check their efficiency with the aim to ensure transparency in the battlefield.

Operations were carried out under superficially created nuclear environment during the ‘Vijay Prahar’. The main of these operations was to check the preparation of the army under a tactical Nuclear, Chemical or Biological attack by the adversary with advanced CBRN capability. The Army and the Air Force came together to test their joint conventional firepower capability during the exercise. Lt Gen Mathson also complimented the troops who braved the soaring temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius and sandstorms to achieve a very high degree of proficiency.

 

India Holds DGMO-Level Meeting With Pakistan; Warns Pak to Stop Supporting Terrorists

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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: PTI)

The India Army yesterday conveyed a strong message to the Pakistan Army, telling it to cut down support to all terror groups operating from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army also warned Pakistan of retaliatory action.

According to an army official, in a telephonic conversation, India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan told his Pakistani Counterpart that Pakistan’s support to terrorists will increase tensions between the two countries, reported The Indian Express. Pakistan requested India for DGMO level talks. In the unscheduled interaction between the two DGMO’s yesterday evening, India communicated to Pakistan that India would not tolerate the Pak-based terrorism. In response, Pakistan also alleged India of resorting to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LOC).

According to the army, Indian Army DGMO emphatically stated that retaliatory firing by Indian troops has only been carried out in response to unabated support given by Pakistan Army to armed terrorists who infiltrate across the border and target Indian Army posts with heavy calibre weapons.

The ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army have increased over the last few months in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army is also giving befitting reply to Pakistan. On April 23, In India’s retaliation to Pakistan’s ceasefire violation in Sector, four Pakistani soldiers were killed.

Indigenous Built LCA-Tejas Performed Well During The ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’

 

The major positive to take away from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) biggest war-like exercise, ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018′ is the performance of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. The indigenously-manufactured (LCA) Tejas was put to test by the IAF in the 14-day long exercise. The aircraft performed as per the requirement of the force.

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LCA-Tejas in action during Gagan-Shakti 2018 (Picture Courtesy:Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

The major positive to take away from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) biggest war-like exercise, ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018‘ is the performance of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. The indigenously-manufactured (LCA) Tejas was put to test by the IAF in the 14-day long exercise. The aircraft performed as per the requirement of the force.

An IAF official who was involved in the exercise said, “We did trials and validation of operational efficiency of LCA Tejas. We were able to generate six sorties per platform per day. In this exercise, we had deployed eight platforms.” According to the official, on the very first day of the exercise, six Tejas aircraft reported ‘snag’, but the air force rectified it immediately. The ‘Gagan-Shakti’ started on April 8 and concluded on April 21.

The Officials associated with the exercise performed satisfaction regarding the performance of Tejas, but, they are worried about the slow production rate of the aircraft. LCA Tejas is a supersonic, single seat, single jet, multi-role light fighter designed by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). It has been under development since 1983. The LCA Tejas was inducted into ‘Flying Daggers’ 45 Squadron of the IAF on July 1, 2016. It is to replace the ageing Mig-21. In December 2017, Defence Acquisition Council had cleared procurement of 83 LCA Tejas Mark 1A.

At present, two contracts have been signed between IAF and HAL for the LCA one for the procurement of 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard aircraft and another for 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft. Till now only eight Tejas aircraft are in operation in the force. HAL is expected to provide rest 12 (IOC) aircraft this year. These 40 aircraft (20 IOC and 20 FOC) will be Tejas mark 1. HAL is also working on four major upgrades which it will incorporate in the manufacturing of the next 83 fighter jets out of which 10 are trainer aircraft. These aircraft will be Tejas Mark 1A.

Earlier this month the IAF has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for acquiring 110 fighter jets to strengthen its fighter capabilities. Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70, Saab’s Gripen E, Boeing’s F/A 18 Super Hornet and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale are the major contenders for $15 billion deal. Currently, The Indian Air Force is facing the shortage of fighter jets as age-old Migs are about to retire over the next few years. If HAL could provide LCA Tejas on time, then it would definitely help the Indian Air Force to plug in the required gap.

The ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’ was organised with the aim to counter twin attack by China and Pakistan along western and northern border. Entire fleet strength of the force was put to test under war-like situation. LCA Tejas finally met the requirement of the Indin Air Force.

Highlights of ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’; Indian Air Force conducted 11,000 sorties

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Air to air fuelling during ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’ (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

A total of 11,000 sorties were conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) during its biggest war-like exercise ‘Gagan-Shakti’. The two-week long exercise concluded on 22nd April. These number sorties are generally done in a month’s time. Out of these 11,000 sorties, 9,000 done by the fighter aircraft alone were conducted in the pan-India exercise.

The exercise was conducted in two phases. In the first Phase the IAF tested its capability along the western border with Pakistan, and in the second phase, the IAF exhibited its strength along the northern border with China from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. The main Aim of the exercise was to test the real-time coordination, deployment and employment of Air Power in a short and intense battle scenario. The IAF exercised the entire machinery to validate its concept of operations and war-waging capability. Around 1,400

Some of the other highlights of ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’ are:

  • During the exercise, Network Centric Operations were conducted with the focus to enhance situational awareness and to enable real-time data transfer between the weapon systems, satellite and ground-based systems.
  • Indigenous-built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas was put to the test. It carried out defence and Combat operations. 3)
  • Forward Surgical Centres (FSC) were set up at remote forward locations. FSC enhances medical capabilities and enables immediate life and limb-saving surgeries and stabilisation of patients away from service hospital.
  • Paratroopers of all the three wings of Defence forces were airdropped to targeted areas.
  • Special HeliBorne Operations (SHBO) mission was conducted by 2xMI-17 V5 helicopters of the IAF. Tri-Services Commandos were inserted in the objective area, to capture a Heli runway.
  • IAF fighter jets including Sukho-30 MKIs, Mirage 2000s, Hawks, Migs, and Jaguars conducted dusk-night-dawn operations. The IAF also tested its firepower by delivering ammunition with high precision.
  • Joint Maritime operations were performed in cooperation with the Indian Navy. Mass casualty drill was also undertaken to transfer injured troops to military hospitals.
  • The highlight of the exercise was the mid-air fueling, in which IL-78 demonstrated the importance of refuelling aircraft during any long-range missions, as it would ensure long-range strike capabilities for the Su-30 MKI.
  • The IAF also undertook a Battalion level airborne assault in the desert sector. It included a paradrop of 560 paratroopers of the IAF and the Indian Army, combat vehicles and GPS guided cargo platforms.
  • The IAF effectively exercised its Maritime warfighting concepts on both Western & Eastern seaboards. The primary focus in Phase–II was to address targets over Eastern Sea Board right up to Malacca Straits. Sukhoi -30MKI fighter jets equipped with BrahMoa missiles hit targets with precision in the Malacca Strait, the entry point where Chinese naval ships into the Indian Ocean Region.
  • A large number of Advanced Landing Grounds Operationalised for conducting Special Airborne Operations close to the simulated objective areas was undertaken.
  • The operation commandos of the IAF also executed Inter-Valley Troop Transfer (IVTT) along with the Indian Army. The IVTT was conducted in the high hills of North and North East along the Indo-Sino border. The aim was to validate the capability of the IAF and the Army to quickly transfer and redeploy acclimatised troops.
  • The Indian Air Force also tests readiness to deal with a biological, chemical and nuclear war and we were satisfied with our capability to deal with such situations during the exercise.

According to the Indian Air Force officials, the exercise met the parameters beyond expectations. The entire fleet strength of the force was showcased. China closely monitored the ‘Gagan-Shakti’.

 

India And Pakistan to Participate in Joint Military Exercise in Russia As Part of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

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Picture Courtesy: http://www.indianexpress.com

India along with Pakistan will be participating in a multi-nation military exercise to be conducted in Russia in September this year. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday officially announced India’s participation. Chinese forces will also be part of this exercise.

The military exercise in Russia is part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). India, China, Russia and Pakistan and other SCO nations are attending the exercise. For the first time, India is attending the Defence Ministers’ meeting at SCO being hosted in China.

Indian and Pakistan soldiers have worked together in the past during the United Nations peacekeeping missions and that to while providing security or in convoy protection deployment. The exercise, “Peace Mission 2018” is scheduled to be held in Russia’s Ural Mountains. It will begin in August-end and conclude in the first week of September. It will be the first-ever exercise in which Indian and Pakistan militaries will be participating together to conduct the mock military operation to fight terrorists. ‘Peace Mission 2018’ will be the fifth edition of the biennial multilateral exercise by the SCO countries. According to sources, India will send a 200-strong contingent to Russia.

India and Pakistan became the full member of the SCO on June 9, 2017. Both the nations were admitted as observers in 2005 in the SCO, which started in 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Now the Organisation has eight full members ,four nations have been accorded “observer” status, while six others are “dialogue” partners.

During her China visit Sitharaman said, “India enjoys excellent bilateral defence cooperation with a large number of SCO countries, especially with Russia, as well as with all of India’s Central Asian partners represented in the SCO.” The Defence Minister further added, “We are guided in our relations with China by the consensus reached between our leaders that at the time of global uncertainty, India-China relations could be a factor of stability and that we must not allow our differences to become disputes.”

 

Gagan Shakti 2018: Sukhoi 30-MKI Equipped With Brahmos Missile Hit Targets Over Malacca Strait on Concluding Day

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Sukhoi 30-MKI (Picture Courtesy: http://www.sputniknews.com)

After carrying out extensive war drills along the borders with China, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had also carried out war-like operations on the locations from where the Chinese can gain entry into the Indian waters. During the second phase of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) mega war-exercise, Gagan Shakti-2018, Sukhoi-30 MKIs equipped with BrahMos missiles carried out strikes in the Malacca Strait. Malacca strait is the entry point Chinese naval ships has entered the Indian Ocean region.

The aircraft also carried out a sortie of over 2,000 kilometers where they were provided mid-air refuelling by Ilyushin 78 tankers and direction by the Airborne Early Warning Systems (AWACS), India Today reported citing sources. The Sukhoi -30 MKI launched BrahMos missiles. This showcased the capability of the aircraft to destroy enemy’s fighter jets from a distance of 300 km.

The Gagan Shakti 2018 which concluded yesterday was the biggest war-exercise carried out by the IAF. The two-week long exercise was conducted in two phases along the borders with Pakistan and China. In the first phase, its western command and south-western air command showcased the capability to counter enemy’s aggression on the western front, while in the second phase, the formations focused on the Chinese frontiers.

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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)
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Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing media (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

Entire fleet strength of the Indian Air Force took part in the exercise. Sorties were carried out across the entire country. Mid-air refueling, evacuation of war causalities from border to military hospitals, Advance Landing Ground Operations are performed during the exercise. IAF paratroopers also exhibited their skills in countering any emergency situation. The main aim of this exercise was to check the war preparedness of the force. Joint maritime operations were also conducted by the IAF in coordination with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa also reviewed the exercise. Around 1,100 IAF aircrafts participated in the exercise. According to reports, 15,000 airmen and 300 officers were also part of the Gagan Shakti 2008.

This exercise has surely given a strong message to the rival nations and hs enhanced the morale of the forces.

 

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.