‘Vayu Shakti’ is IAF’s biggest exercise and is held every three years to showcase India’s air power. 148 aircraft of the Indian Air Force will take part in the 2022 edition of ‘Vayu Shakti’ that will held at Rajasthan’s Pokhran test facility on March 7.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest for the event this time.
The exercise is being held in the backdrop of IAF’s high-tempo operations in the Ladakh sector where India and China have been locked in a border row since May 2020. A total of 109 fighter jets, 24 helicopters and seven transport planes are among the aircraft that will participate in the drill.
“The objective of the exercise is to showcase the capability of IAF to conduct full spectrum operations. It will also demonstrate IAF’s capability to defend vital areas and points by employing surface-to-air guided weapons,” an official said.
Several platforms that have operated in the Ladakh sector will be a part of the drills in the exercise. These include Rafale, MiG-29 and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, C-17 heavy lifters, C-130J special operations aircraft, Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and CH-47F (I) Chinook multi-mission helicopters.
The platforms inducted after the Balakot raid include the Apaches and Chinooks. To be sure, these acquisitions were planned years before the airstrikes.