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IAF to conduct 11-day mega exercise from Sep 4

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Apr 9, 2023
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The Indian Air Force will conduct an 11-day mega exercise beginning September 4 along the borders with China and Pakistan and it will involve all the key frontline combat jets, attack choppers, mid-air refuellers and other critical air assets, sources in the defence and military establishment said on Thursday.

The exercise 'Trishul' is taking place amid the over three-year confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops as well as New Delhi's continuing frosty ties with Pakistan.

The aim of the exercise, being organised by the IAF's Western Command from September 4-14, is to test the combat capabilities of the force and assess various operational dimensions, they said. It will be one of the largest air exercises to be carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in recent times, said one of the sources, adding that all key platforms of the Western Air Command as well as assets from other commands will be deployed for the drills.

The fighter jets to be part of the drills include Rafales, Su-30 MKIs, Jaguars, Mirage-2000s and MiG-29s, the sources said about the annual wargame. They said attack helicopters, mid-air refuellers, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft and the transport fleet will also be deployed for the drills.

The exercise will largely cover frontline bases in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the sources said. The result of the exercise will be thoroughly examined in the Air Headquarters at the end of the drills, they added.

Following the eastern Ladakh border row, the IAF has significantly enhanced its combat capabilities as part of a series of measures, including through procurement of new equipment and weapon systems.

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