Vayu Shakti-24 Paints the Sky with Glory

IAF’s Vayu Shakti 2024 : Demonstrates Precision Strikes and Tactical Deployment, Featuring Modern and Indigenous Platforms, Reflecting Operational Preparedness and Strategic Focus

Mohmmad Asif Khan


The Indian Air Force (IAF) flexed its muscles during Exercise Vayu Shakti-24, held at the Pokhran air-to-ground range near Jaisalmer. The exercise, themed ‘Lightning Strike from the Sky’, showcased the prowess of India’s indigenous defence platforms.


The event commenced at 5 pm with a ceremonial flair, including a flypast by Chetak helicopters carrying the national flag and the Air Force ensign, accompanied by the national anthem, a perfectly timed ‘Sonic Boom’ by a Rafale aircraft added to the spectacle.


Frontline fighter jets like the Rafale, Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, Mirage-2000, and Tejas executed precise attacks on simulated enemy targets on both ground and in the air. Approximately 50 tonnes of ordnance were dropped within two hours over a two-square-kilometer area.


The Rafale fighter engaged an aerial target using the MICA multi-mission air-to-air missiles, showcasing its advanced combat capabilities. The Apache attack helicopter made its debut in the exercise, engaging targets with Hellfire air-to-ground guided missiles, while the Mi-17 helicopters engaged ground targets with rockets.


The Indigenous Tejas aircraft showcased its ability to perform multiple roles, engaging both aerial and ground targets with precision. Moreover, the IAF showcased its technological advancements by deploying long-range unmanned drones, which demonstrated pinpoint accuracy in destroying a simulated enemy radar site.


Joint operations between the IAF and the Indian Army’s weaponised helicopters, as well as the rapid deployment of combat assets by Chinook helicopters, further underscored the interoperability and readiness of India’s defence forces.


As the day transitioned into night, the exercise continued, showcasing the capabilities of the indigenous light combat helicopter ‘Prachand’ and conducting strategic bombing operations with heavy-calibre weapons dropped by Jaguar and Su-30 MKI aircraft. Importantly, the exercise incorporated real-time assessment of targets using remotely piloted aircraft, adding to the operational effectiveness and precision targeting capability of the IAF.


Special operations were conducted by Garuds inserted by Mi-17 helicopters, demonstrating urban intervention techniques in anti-terror/insurgency operations. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles provided real-time bomb damage assessments of all targets, which were live-streamed to the operations centre and the audience.


Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan was the chief guest for the event, along with other senior military officials, witnessed the exercise, which also featured a free fall drop by the Akashganga team and concluded with a flare dispensing by C-130J aircraft at night.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call us