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Vayu Shakti 2019: A few miles from Pakistan border, IAF displays its fire power

Operation Vayu Shakti involved as many as 138 aircraft of different types including the Airborne Warning And Control System, which also took aerial photographs of the targets destructed by the fighter aircraft and helicopters

Rathin Das | Pokhran |

On a day the nation mourned the more than 40 CRPF soldiers martyred in the Pulwama terror attack, the Indian Air Force (IAF) reiterated its resolve to defend the frontiers with a magnificent display of its fire power. Though Vayu Shakti 2019 was scheduled before the Pulwama terror attack took place, the IAF’s fire power display just a few kilometres away from the Pakistan border could not have come at a better time when political parties of all hues were calling for teaching the lesson of a lifetime to the breeding ground of terrorism.

The air power demonstration at the Pokharan firing range on Saturday evening provoked one to comment “the IAF should have done this few more kilometres west”.

Operation “Vayu Shakti”, literally meaning air power, involved as many as 138 aircraft of different types including the Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) which also took aerial photographs of the targets destructed by the fighter aircraft and helicopters.

A variety of aircraft such as Jaguar, MiG-29, Mirage 2000, Sukhoi-30 MKI, Tejas, Hawk Mk 132, C-130 and helicopters like Mi-17 V5 and ALH Mk IV which displayed their fire power at “Vayu Shakti” on Saturday evening had taken off from different IAF bases in north and west India.

The Vayu Shakti 2019 display included all types of air-to-air, air-to-surface, surfaceto-air and anti-terror operations during daylight, at dusk and also at night. The musicians of the Air Warrior Symphony Orchestra (AWSO) enthralled the gathering with melodious rendition of martial tunes and patriotic songs.