Over the nation’s nuclear test site, the Indian Air Force will display its “Nuclear Muscle” with Rafale, Jaguar, and Sukhoi fighters


The Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to showcase its combat-readiness and offensive capability at the much-awaited ‘Vayu Shakti’ exercise that will take place at Pokhran range in Jaisalmer on March 7.Pokhran is the same place where India conducted its nuclear tests in 1974 and later in 1998.

The aim of the exercise is to demonstrate India’s readiness to conduct full spectrum operations and fire capabilities. The drill will see the participation of newly inducted French Rafale fighter jets for the very first time.

IAF started inducting the Dassault Rafale fighter jets in the wake of the June 2020 Galwan clash with China’s PLA, in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.

The most striking feature of Rafale is its capability to carry nuclear warheads, making it a strategic asset for India. Apart from Rafale, the Anglo-French Jaguar, Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30, the backbone of the Indian Air Force, will also participate in the aerial drills. All three fighters are nuclear-capable.

In January 2020, it was reported that India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) began receiving 42 Su-30MKI fighters modified to carry nuclear BrahMos missiles.

Su-30 MKI and BrahMos supersonic missile are a deadly combination together, as EurAsian Times had reported earlier. When one of the most supermanoeuvrable fighters jets is outfitted with a supersonic, super destructive cruise missile-like BrahMos, it’s bad news for enemies, an expert had commented.

The MIG-29, indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft, MIG-21 Bison, Hawk 32, M200, Globe Master C-17 and C-130J Hercules, Chinoque and Mi 17 V5, Mi 35, and Apache attack helicopters will also participate in the exercise.

In total, this exercise will see the participation of 148 aircraft from seven air bases spread across the country. This is the largest-ever participation of IAF platforms. In 2019, a total of 137 aircraft, including 81 fighter jets had participated in the drills.

Indian Air force will also demonstrate its Jaguar nuclear-capable, ground-attack aircraft that entered service in 1979. The IAF currently has about 118 aircraft which are expected to be replaced by the Indian AMCA fighters.

Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had signed a deal with HAL to purchase two simulators for the Jaguar aircraft. This move spells a departure from its 2019 statement that said the Jaguar aircraft will be phased out from 2023.

The exercise Vayu Shakti will also showcase made-in-India defense equipment and military hardware in line with the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) initiative. “Our weapons demonstration, large numbers of weapons are made in India and some are even designed in India,” IAF Vice Chief, Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, told reporters.

The Akash missile, India’s indigenously developed medium-range, surface-to-air missile that can engage multiple targets from multiple directions will be showcased during the exercise.

Another Made in India product and the pride of the Indian Air Force, LCA Tejas will showcase its prowess in the sky of Jaisalmer in the upcoming drills.

Earlier as EurAsian Times had reported, India’s Tejas fighters demonstrated ‘exceptional flying capabilities’ at the Singapore Air Show 2022. Tejas, which had mesmerized the audience at the Dubai Air Show, made a stunning display at the airshow and the Indian Air Force tweeted and called it ‘A Diamond In The Sky’.

Tejas fighter pilot Group Captain Manish Tolani described the Tejas as a 4.5-Gen aircraft with proven capabilities across various conditions including the subcontinent’s harsh northern regions and the southern regions’ tropical weather.

IAF Exercise At Nuclear Test Site

Vayu Shakti is held once in three years to showcase India’s air power. The first edition of the exercise was held on July 21, 1953, at the Tilpat range in New Delhi. After 1989, the event was moved to Pokhran, close to the Pakistan border.

In the past, India had conducted its nuclear tests at Pokhran — the first one (codenamed “Smiling Buddha”) in 1974 followed by another test in 1998, codenamed “Shakti”.

The last edition of the Vayu Shakti exercise was held on February 16, 2019, soon after the Pulwama terror attack and 10 days before IAF bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) targets in Pakistan’s Balakot.

This airstrike pushed the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors to the brink of a full-scale military conflict. The exercise Vayu Shakti over the years has emerged as an effective platform for training and honing combat skills of IAF.

Related Posts

The “Hummer,” the first-ever aerial early warning system, has unparalleled capabilities.

The E-2 Hawkeye: A Legacy of Early Warпiпg Desigпed to replace the E-1 Tracer, the E-2 was the first aircraft ever bυilt from scratch specifically for airborпe…

An American Pilot Performs a Vertical Landing in an Aircraft Designed by Britain

The Evolυtioп of Vertical Takeoff aпd Laпdiпg Aircraft iп the Uпited States Wheп the Uпited States acqυired the Harrier, they υпdoυbtedly secυred пot oпly the aircraft bυt…

Ottokar Presents the Armored Reconnaissance and Surveillance Vehicle, or AKREP II R, at IDEF 2023.

VIDEO: Otokar, the reпowпed Tυrkish maпυfactυrer of military aпd civiliaп vehicles, proυdly exhibited its cυttiпg-edge AKREP II R Armored Recoппaissaпce aпd Sυrveillaпce Vehicle at IDEF 2023 for…

The Roem 155mm Wheeled Self-Propelled Howitzer is revealed to the European Allies by Elbit Systems.

Ebit Systems has υпveiled the revolυtioпary self-propelled howitzer, codeпamed “Thυпderoυs,” iп a receпt demoпstratioп to military represeпtatives from the Netherlaпds, Great Britaiп, Germaпy, aпd Hυпgary. The Israeli…

Northrop Grumman and Norway’s Chemring Nobel Work Together to Establish a Long-Term Supply Contract

Northrop Grυmmaп Corporatioп (NYSE: NOC) aпd Chemriпg Nobel AS (CHN), a Norwegiaп-based specialty chemicals compaпy, receпtly sigпed a loпg-term soυrciпg agreemeпt for high-eпergy, explosive powder kпowп as…

Revealing the UK’s Upcoming Mobile Artillery Force Put Together by the ARCHER Artillery Alliance: Introducing the Elite

ARCHER A𝚛till𝚎𝚛𝚢 Alli𝚊nc𝚎 𝚊nn𝚘𝚞nc𝚎s its 𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚊ch 𝚏𝚘𝚛 th𝚎 UK’s M𝚘𝚋il𝚎 Fi𝚛𝚎s Pl𝚊t𝚏𝚘𝚛m 𝚊n𝚍 t𝚘 𝚛𝚎vit𝚊lis𝚎 c𝚛itic𝚊l UK 𝚊𝚛till𝚎𝚛𝚢 c𝚊𝚙𝚊𝚋iliti𝚎s. BAE S𝚢st𝚎ms, B𝚊𝚋c𝚘ck 𝚊n𝚍 Rh𝚎inm𝚎t𝚊ll BAE S𝚢st𝚎ms L𝚊n𝚍…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *