IAF to kick off biggest war-game near Pakistan, China borders
07 April 2018
The Indian Air Force will conduct the biggest ever war-game, from 8 to 22 April, near the Pakistan, China borders. Named 'Gaganshakti’ the all-encompassing and composite exercise, aims at ensuring real-time coordination, deployment, and employment of air power in a short and intense battle scenario, the IAF said in a statement.
"During Gaganshakti, IAF will exercise the entire machinery to validate its concept of operations and war-waging ability. With each successive exercise, the lessons learnt in the previous exercises and doctrinal precepts are put to test, for developing new concepts. This year the IAF has planned tactics that will be tested in a real-time scenario," it said.
"Concepts of accelerated operations, Network Centric Operations, long range missions with concentrated weapon releases across all air to ground ranges in India, inter valley troop transfer, flexible use of airspace, joint maritime air operations with the Indian Navy, joint operations with the Indian Army, simulated combat search and rescue for effective extraction of downed aircrew behind enemy lines, special operations with Garuds, mass casualty evacuation from highway and ALG operations, to name a few, would be tested, the IAF press release stated.
The exercise will also, for the first time, integrate the India-built LCA in the operational matrix to test its efficacy.
“The logistics stamina of the IAF and the ability to sustain continuous operations through day and night would be put to test," says the IAF press release.
The exercise will deploy AWACS, AEW&C, FRA, transport aircraft and ISR assets to validate efficiency of combat support assets, including enablers. Special operations employing transport aircraft and helicopter as well as special forces have also been planned during the exercise.
The IAF will also utilise this exercise to validate new strategies and tactics, especially to validate recently inducted or upgraded assets and equipments.
“While it is an IAF centric exercise, it is planned to be executed keeping in mind the "Joint Operational Doctrine". The requirements of the other services are being met and the same has been factored while planning the exercise settings. Joint operations, including CSFO, Airborne Ops, Air Landed Ops and Maritime Ops, have also been planned.
Apart from wartime drills, IAF will also practice and validate various humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drills that the IAF is expected to undertake from time to time.
These would include mobilisation of air ambulance version of transport aircraft and helicopters to airlift simulated sitting and bed ridden casualties to metros/big cities having good medical facilities and would include evacuation of casualties from highways that facilitate such operations.
Full spectrums of operations are planned by IAF with special focus on `Network Centric Operations', and ‘Effect Based Operations'.
This exercise is aimed at coordinating operations, maintenance and administrative responses to achieve the stated objectives of the Indian Air Force, in case of any contingency.
It will hone the war fighting skills of the air warriors in a real time scenario thus affirming the IAF's role as the cutting edge of our nation's military capability.