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Vayu Shakti 2019: Indian Air Force To Unleash Its Firepower At Pokhran

Vayu Shakti 2019: Indian Air Force To Unleash Its Firepower At Pokhran

Armed Forces

Vayu Shakti 2019: Indian Air Force To Unleash Its Firepower At Pokhran

The exercise will witness a wide array of aircraft and combat ground equipment.

The Indian Air Force is all set to unleash its firepower during  Exercise Vayu Shakti 2019 at Pokhran in the Thar Desert on 16 February.

The exercise will witness a wide array of fighter, transport, and remotely piloted aircraft besides helicopters, and combat ground equipment.

The event, to be held at the Pokhran Air to Ground Armament Range near Jaisalmer,  will be attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Full Dress Rehearsal of the Fire Power Demonstration (FPD) of the IAF will be held on 14 February.

(Read – Gagan Shakti 2018 By The Indian Air Force: Largest Military Exercise in 30 Years)

Exercise Vayu Shakti 2019

The Indian Air Force revealed in a Facebook post that it will conduct the fire power demonstration to showcase the ever-increasing potential of its combat platforms over the years and to assure the citizens about its ability to safeguard India’s national interests.

It will also demonstrate the capability of the brave air-warriors.

The spell-binding machines and their employment during ‘Vayushakti 2019” will showcase the story of IAF’s ability to influence any situation, to dominate, destroy or to rescue.


The IAF further stated that the aerial displays, formation flypasts and fire power demonstrations are various facets of training in the force. They are also a great source of morale-boosting for participants and an assurance for those watching the exercise at Pokhran.

(Read – Pokhran 2: When Top Scientists Wore Army Uniforms To Avoid Surveillance)

Jaguar – Ground Attack Deep Penetration Fighter

The Jaguar ground attack deep penetration fighter aircraft will conquer the skies at the Exercise Vayu Shakti 2019.

The aircraft is a mean fighting machine equipped with over-wing missile pylons, multi-purpose nose radar, anti-shipping weapons, night sensors, photo reconnaissance and laser range finder.

According to the IAF, it has launched a new drive to revamp its Jaguar fighters with new engines, airframes and spares from overseas grounded fighters.

Currently, the aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce’s Adour Mk811 engines.

Mig-27 Fighter

At the exercise, MiG-27 will showcase its ground attack capabilities.

The MiG-27 upgrade is a very potent air to ground strike aircraft, which is capable of carrying a variety of armament loads comprising of bombs, rockets and front guns.

Due to its swing-wing design, it is capable of operating over a wide range of speeds.

The fighter is used by Indian, Kazakh and Sri Lankan Air Forces in the ground attack role.

Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the erstwhile Soviet Union had originally built the fighter but it has been now produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the Bahadur (“Valiant”).

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will display its multi-role capabilitiy at the Exercise Vayushakti 2019.

LCA Tejas is an Indian single-seat, single-jet engine. It is a multi-role light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

Tejas is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class which can carry a veritable plethora of air to air, air to surface, precision-guided and standoff weaponry.

M-17 V5 Medium-Lift Attack Helicopter

Another IAF’s aircraft, the Mi-17 V5 medium-lift attack helicopter, is ready to unleash its fire power at the exercise.

Equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and on-board navigation systems, the Mi-17 V5 helicopter is an upgrade of the Mi-17 helicopter.

The agile machine carries substantial and effective firepower as well as can carry up to 36 troops or up to four tons of freight.

The helicopter can go up to a maximum speed o’f 260 km/hr and has a range of 950 km.

It is powered by two Isotoc TV3-117VM turboshaft engines.

Other Aircraft

Exercise Vayu Shakti 2019 will also witness Asia’s top fighter jet Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Ilyushin IL-76 and Mi-35 in action.

The Su-30 MKI is a modern multi-role, air superiority fighter aircraft of Indian Air Force. The aircraft is capable of decimating adversaries in air or on ground with a wide array of air to air and air to ground weapons.

The Ilyushin IL-76 is a multi-purpose four-engined strategic airlift aircraft. It is a heavy duty, long haul military freight transport & has proven to be a first class strategic & tactical transport aircraft of IAF.

The Mi-35 is an assault anti-armour helicopter, used in numerous combat roles. These include anti-tank operations, escort to Special Heliborne Operations & destruction of enemy Air Defence missions.

(Note- All the photos are courtesy the Twitter handle of the Indian Air Force.)

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