The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to conduct Exercise Vayu Shakti-24, a grand display of its aerial might, on 17 February 2024, at the Pokhran Air to Ground Range near Jaisalmer. Following the successful execution of the previous edition on 16 February 2019, this year’s exercise promises to be an even more impressive demonstration of the IAF’s offensive and defensive capabilities, both during the day and night.
A Testament to Air Power
Exercise Vayu Shakti is a biennial event that serves as a testament to the Indian Air Force’s strategic capabilities. It is an opportunity for the IAF to demonstrate its combat readiness and operational effectiveness, showcasing a wide array of aircraft and weapon systems in action. This exercise also highlights the seamless integration and joint operations capabilities with the Indian Army, emphasizing the synergistic approach to national defense.
An Impressive Array of Aircraft
The 2024 edition of Exercise Vayu Shakti will feature the participation of 121 aircraft, reflecting the diverse and advanced fleet of the IAF. Notably, the exercise will include indigenous marvels such as the Tejas, Prachand (Light Combat Helicopter), and Dhruv helicopters, showcasing India’s strides in self-reliance in defense technology. Additionally, formidable aircraft like the Rafale, Mirage-2000, Sukhoi-30 MKI, Jaguar, Hawk, C-130J, Chinook, Apache, and Mi-17 will display their capabilities, underlining the IAF’s modernization and strategic depth.
Demonstrating Indigenous Defense Capabilities
A key highlight of Exercise Vayu Shakti-24 will be the demonstration of indigenous Surface to Air Weapon systems, namely Akash and Samar. These systems will exhibit their proficiency in tracking and neutralizing intruding aircraft, showcasing India’s growing self-reliance in air defense technology. This aspect of the exercise underscores the IAF’s commitment to integrating homegrown technologies into its operational framework.
Showcasing Precision and Coordination
The exercise is set to demonstrate the IAF’s ability to deliver weapons with long-range precision as well as accurately deploy conventional weapons. The operation from multiple air bases will illustrate the force’s adaptability and logistical prowess. Special operations involving the IAF’s transport and helicopter fleets, including the elite Garud Commando Force and elements of the Indian Army, will also be on display, highlighting the IAF’s capability to conduct complex, multi-dimensional operations.