Country-wide IAF exercise Gagan Shakti to prepare for two-front threat

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Published: April 7, 2018 2:03:14 am

New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa gestures as he addresses a news conference ahead of Air Force Day, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo by Kamal Kishore (PTI10_5_2017_000033B)

With an eye on the two-front threat posed by China and Pakistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning for Gagan Shakti, a country-wide training exercise, scheduled to take place during April 11-21.

The exercise will be conducted in two separate phases for western and northern borders across India and deep over the Indian waters. More than 15,000 IAF personnel, including 300 officers, will move from their bases during the exercise which will see the involvement of over 1,100 aircraft. This would mean 3,000 to 4,000 sorties per day during the exercise.

Stating that “we fight against capabilities” without mentioning the adversaries, IAF sources said that the first phase of Gagan Shakti will see practice by forces deployed along the western border while the second phase will be for practice along the northern border.

As per the existing protocol, Pakistan has already been intimated of the exercise. The IAF is struggling with a shortfall of fighter aircraft, with only 31 fighter squadrons in its fleet against an authorization…

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