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IAF kicks off massive combat exercise, activates all airbases

IAF kicks off massive combat exercise, activates all airbases

The Indian Air Force on Saturday kicked off a major exercise, 'Live Wire', to hone its war-fighting skills, with hundreds of fighters, helicopters, transport aircraft and drones from all its five operational commands participating to test both offensive and defensive airpower capabilities.

The exercise, the biggest in a decade with all the airbases around the country being activated, will be held in phases to validate network-centric operations.

"The entire IAF is involved in the endeavour, which will see operations being conducted from Leh to Car Nicobar," said an officer.

The high-voltage exercise comes close after IAF held a massive fire-power and bombing display, 'Iron Fist', at Pokhran last month.

In July, the IAF will dispatch its Sukhoi-30MKI fighters and other aircraft to the US to take part in the mother of all air combat exercises, the Red Flag, which is held at Nellis US Air Force base in Nevada.

Much like the Iron Fist, the underlying message behind the Live Wire exercise is also the same. India has the requisite military muscle to defend its expanding geo-strategic interests. The combat drills will see different types of fighters - from Sukhoi-30MKIs and Mirage-2000s to Jaguars and MiG-29s as well as force-multipliers like mid-air refuellers and AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) - take to the skies.

With the nodes of IACCS (integrated air command and control system) also becoming operational on the western front facing Pakistan, the exercise will be conducted in networked environment.

The automated IACCS enables quick transfer of data from low-level transportable radars, high-power static radars and medium-power radars as well as ground stations of AWACS and aerostat radars to one central place. This provides a composite real-time air situation picture to ensure operations can be conducted in a much swifter, cohesive and effective manner.

Source: Rajat Pandit, NEW DELHI, TNN News - 16 March 2013

Photo: The Indian Air Force Su-30 Fighter Bomber Aircraft. The high-voltage exercise comes close after IAF held a massive fire-power and bombing display, 'Iron Fist', at Pokhran last month. (Photo by


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