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Indian Air Force to demonstrate its firepower in Pokhran today

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Air Force will demonstrate its combat and firepower, including Akash Missile, for the first time, in the desert of Pokhran on Friday.

The entire event, which would be attended by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will showcase more than 22 types of platforms and weapons systems.

Frontline fighter aircraft including Sukhoi 30, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, MiG-29, attack helicopters, remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and high tech AWACS would display their potential during the show.

Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' and LCH would also be a part of the airpower display.

Transport aircraft like the An-32, Embraer, IL-76, IL-78 and C-130J would participate in all their glory while medium lift helicopters (Mi-17, Mi-171V, Mi-17V5) and attack helicopters(Mi-25, Mi-35) would also showcase their capabilities.

"The primary objective of this exercise is to demonstrate IAF's capability to safeguard our national interests," an IAF statement said.

During the exercise, IAF would also project its transformational state-of-the-art combat potential for meeting challenges be it from the air, land or sea.

The event comprises six packages depicting six themes in which more than 180 fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters are participating.

First on the show would be a flypast showing IAF's journey over eight decades, with the aircraft of yester years like Tiger Moth flying along with the latest acquisitions of the IAF.

The flypast by a mixed formation comprising MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29 and the mighty Su-30, would represent the transformation of IAF over the decades.

Next package would comprise net-enabling operations of the aircraft. This would be followed by a synchronised weapon delivery demonstration comprising precision based bombing at simulated targets by Mirage-2000, Su-30, MiG-27 and Jaguar.

IAF would showcase its multi-layered air defence operations. It will comprise fly-past by flight refuelling aircraft, IL-78 FRA along with two Su-30 aircraft which will demonstrate the ability to extend on-station endurance and strategic reach of fighter aircraft. This phase would also include surface-to-air guided weapons like IGLA shoulder-fired missile system and the OSA-AK missiles striking down airborne targets.

Capability demonstration of the indigenously developed 'Tejas' aircraft to deliver laser-guided bomb and fire an air-to-air missile and the capability of the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter to carry out rocket firing would be carried out for the first time.

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