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Aero India 2023

Indian Army's first vertical wind tunnel installed at special forces training school in HP

NEW DELHI (PTI): A state-of-the-art wind tunnel, a first-of-its-kind in the Indian Army, that offers a controlled environment to enable military trainees to enhance their skills by simulating real-life free fall conditions, has been inaugurated at a training school in Himachal Pradesh.

Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande virtually inaugurated "Indian Army's first Vertical Wind Tunnel (VWT)", the defence ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The wind tunnel at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS) at Bakloh is set to refine the Combat Free Fall (CFF) skills of armed forces personnel, officials said.

"As part of the ongoing transformation of the Indian Army, technology is being infused into the training methodologies. Installation of a VWT is also a step in that direction," the statement said.

Functioning as a free fall simulator, the VWT creates a column of air at specific velocities, orchestrating different CFF conditions. The system offers a controlled environment, enabling trainees to enhance their skills by simulating real-life freefall conditions, it said.

The VWT's integration into the CFF training curriculum at SFTS brings forth numerous pay-offs. The system simulates varied free fall scenarios which is crucial in assessing individual reactions to numerous situations in an airborne operating environment, the ministry said.

It reduces potential instability in the air and during parachute deployment thereby assisting trainees to get used to free-fall conditions. The VWT is not only beneficial for beginners but also an exceptional resource for delivering advanced training to seasoned free-fallers and CFF instructors, it said.

Installation of the first VWT is aligned with the current impetus given to modernising the training infrastructure in the Indian Army, the ministry said.

"This project, a first-of-its-kind in the Indian Army, will deliver simulated training on combat free fall to the special forces. It is poised to greatly enhance the operational readiness of the future-ready Indian Army, ensuring that the special forces are fully prepared to tackle contemporary challenges of current and future battlefields. It promises faster and more precise training results," it added.

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