The Air Force carried out Vayu Shakti 2019 – a mega exercise involving 140 fighter jets and attack helicopters, in a firepower demonstration close to the border with Pakistan. As India plans options to avenge the strike by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said the Air Force was prepared to deliver “appropriate response” as assigned by the political leadership.
In the Vayu Shakti exercise, the IAF showcased firepower capability of indigenously-developed platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and efficacy of Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile.
The IAF also deployed the upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role during the exercise. A total of 137 aircraft including Sukhoi-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules and AN-32 aircraft participated.