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IAF successfully conducts 11-day 'CROSSBOW-18' exercise

AMARAVATI (PTI): The Combined Guided Weapon Firing exercise 'CROSSBOW-18' ended successfully Thursday at the Suryalanka Air Force Station in Andhra Pradesh.

The 11-day exercise, conducted under the aegis of the Southern Air Command, saw various Surface-to-Air Missile systems like the indigenously developed Akash, Spyder, OSA-AK-M and IGLA carrying out drills and live firing for the first time on manoeuvrable aerial targets, a Defence release here said.

Live firing by night added to the uniqueness and complexity of the exercise while participation of SU-30 fighter jets made it operationally realistic, it said.

"The live firing helped the Indian Air Force in validating the Air Defence philosophy by integrating both legacy and modern Surface-to-Air Guided Weapon Systems and the Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS).

It was a unique event in the history of the IAF and is a precursor to the modernization of Suryalanka range," it added.

Air warriors from over 20 participating Surface-to-Air Guided Weapon squadrons actively participated in the exercise.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command, Air Marshal B Suresh and other senior officials from the Air Headquarters and Western Air Command visited the Air Force Station in Guntur district during the course of the exercise and witnessed the live missile firing by four missile systems, the release said.

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