Exercise Gaganshakti has deployed indigenous LCA at forward bases
Major Indian Air Force (IAF) level exercise, Gaganshakti, began from 11 April 2018. This year over 1100 aircraft have been deployed at their operational locations. This exercise is also unique as indigenous fighters Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) are being deployed at forward bases. During the first phase of the exercise, all the deployed LCA aircraft participated. The operational efficiency and mission worthiness of these platforms would be put to test in a real time intense exercise environment. A milestone towards ‘Make in India’, LCA will employ Close Combat and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air to Air missiles in a simulated scenario apart from air to ground weapons.
The IAF has consistently encouraged the development of indigenous defence production capability and capacities. A look at the past demonstrates the IAF’s participation and promotion of indigenisation programmes. It is a proud moment for air force’s test pilots as they have been involved in its development since the Nineties.
This versatile multi-role fighter will be put through its operational pace towards validating concepts. Exercise Gaganshakti will test the LCA across a varied spectrum encompassing air defence and strike capabilities amongst others. The employment of LCA in the exercise will go a long way in incorporating its capabilities in the operational matrix of the IAF.