Exercise Gaganshakti-2018: RM Nirmala Sitharaman Monitors IAF’s Operational Preparedness

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman being briefed by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on air operations during exercise Gaganshakti-2018 when she visits forward airbase Chabua
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman being briefed by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on air operations during exercise Gaganshakti-2018 when she visits forward airbase Chabua

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visits Air Force Station Chabua, ALG Pasighat, Air to Ground Weapons range at Dullong Mukh to witness air operations and monitor operational preparedness of Indian Air Force (IAF).

National Defence Bureau
New Delhi/ Chabua, 19 April 2018

Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman visited Air Force Station Chabua today, to witness and assess the ongoing IAF operations. She was accompanied by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.

They visited Pasighat Advanced Landing Ground, where the operations by Su-30 MKI fighters, C-17 Globemaster aircraft and rocket loading on Mi-17 V5 helicopters were demonstrated. At Pasighat ALG, they also witnessed a mesmerizing assault drill by the IAF’s Garuds, who had landed earlier by the C-17 Globemaster.

RM thereafter visited the Air to Ground weapons range at Dullong Mukh, where a well planned and coordinated strike package of Su-30 aircraft orchestrated precise and concentrated delivery of Laser Guided 1000 Lbs, conventional 1000 Lbs and 100 Kg bombs. Mi-17 V5 Helicopters also demonstrated their strike capability in the armed role wherein they delivered 80mm rockets on a simulated target.

After witnessing the mesmerizing ALG and strike operations, she witnessed accelerated fighter operations at Chabua, interacted with the air warriors and was also briefed on employment of Air Power in the defence of  Eastern Sector.

To gauge the operational capability and preparedness of the IAF, the RM has been visiting various air force establishments. Recently, she had flown a Su-30 MKI aircraft at Jodhpur, to gain first hand experience of the operational capability of this versatile fighter platform.

These visits by the Raksha Mantri would  go a long way in enhancing the motivation of the air warriors and bolstering their commitment towards security of the Nation.

Exercise Gaganshakti-2018, is a large scale IAF exercise which is currently in its second phase. The assets have now been deployed along the northern region and operations are taking place in full swing.

These operations, under the umbrella of net centricity, supported by combat enablers like AWACS, FRA and ISR assets, will give the operators a  near real time experience of conducting sustained and challenging operations in a simulated short and intense war scenario.

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