On 18 March, the Indian Air Force will display its magnificence and strength at the Iron Fist Exercise 2016. The event will be conducted at the Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan, and will have President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parikar and Chief of IAF Air Marshal Arup Raha, among many other senior officers as guests.
India’s Iron Fist Exercise was first held in 2013 as a demonstration of the military capabilities and tactical skills of the Indian Air Force. Typically, the day and night event is divided into four sections: the flypast, offensive capabilities, defensive capabilities, and night operations. Hundreds of aircraft and weapons are showcased.
This year, 181 aircraft from nearly all the bases in the country will be participating.
The fighter planes on display this year include Sukhoi Su-30, Mirage 2000, Jaguars, MIG 21, attack helicopters, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and high-tech Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS).
Tejas, India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), will be the highlight of the day. As it moves closer to Final Operational Clearance, it can soon be included in the IAF’s official fleet for combat roles. Tejas is set to fire US- and Russia-made missiles. Astra, the Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile will be fired for the first time at the rally.
Besides showcasing aircraft, the event also aims at flaunting the lethal competence of the IAF. From weapons to acrobatic capabilities, the show of strength is bound to send a powerful message about India’s military readiness to her contemporaries.
New technologies such as all-weather, network-centric operations, lethal firepower, and precision weapon delivery boasts of the IAF’s modern combat capabilities.
Doordarshan would be covering the event live from 4 pm to 8 pm.
While we wait for the live telecast, here’s a promotional video released by the IAF that is sure to inspire the patriot in you: