IAF all set for first day and night exercise 'Iron Fist'


Indian Air Force will conduct its first day-night exercise to demonstrate combat and fire prowess at Rajasthan's Pokharan firing range on February 22, marking the debut of indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas.

The mammoth fire power exercise 'Iron Fist' in the skies over the Thar desert will also see weaponised advanced light helicopter 'Rudra' in action and participation of latest aircraft Pilatus PC-7 Mk II and over 100 fighter, transport aircraft and helicopters with equal number on standby, defence spokesperson S D Goswami said.

Different aircraft which include Sukhoi 30, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Mig 27, MIG 21, MIG 29, attack helicopters, UAV and high-tech AWACS will display their potential, he said.

The event will also showcase transport aircraft like AN-32, Embraer, IL-76, IL-78 and C-130J while Mi-17V5 and Mi-25, Mi-35 attack helicopters will constitute the rotary wing ingredients. Pilatus-7, the state of art trainer aircraft, will also be part of the show and fly past.

The live action will be monitored by Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and an unmanned aerial vehicle will stream live video images of the targets set for destruction. The air defence activities will include firing of surface-to-air guided missiles, Goswami said.

Mock radar sites, tanks marshaling yards, terrorist camps, runway, BMP and convoys will be among other targets the IAF pilots will seek to destroy during the exercise.

Troop inspection of Garuds (IAF's special force) and NSG to neutralise a mock terrorist camp and display by para jumping team 'Akash Ganga' will also be part of the event at Pokran firing ranges.

Besides the fire demonstration, the IAF's helicopter aerobatics display team 'Sarang' will perform along with Akash Ganga team.

"Sukhois will give enthralling performance by forming a trishul in the sky," Goswami said.

Vintage aircraft Tiger Moth, the first basic trainer aircraft of the IAF, will be another attraction at the event. The aircraft will showcase IAF's golden past, he said.

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