Nashik: The firing range of Devlali thundered with deafening sounds and explosions as the School of Artillery demonstrated its firepower at the annual ‘Exercise Topchi’ on Tuesday.

The accuracy and consistency of the state-of-the-art guns and rocket-launchers as well as the manoeuvres of the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters kept everyone present on the edge of their seats for close to two hours.

Topchi, meaning a gunner in English, is an annual exercise by the School of Artillery, Devlali, to showcase the synergy and the orchestration of the immense firepower of the regiment of Artillery.

The event was witnessed by Lieutenant General Depinder Singh Ahuja, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Chief of Staff, Southern Command as the chief guest, and Lieutenant General R S Salaria, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Commandant School of Artillery and Colonel Commandant Regiment of Artillery, senior defence, civilian officers and a large number of dignitaries.

The event not only showcased the firepower of artillery, but also the surveillance, weapon locating radars and army aviation assets.

Salvos fired by the 155 mm Bofors, Soltum Artillery Gun, Ultra Light Howitzer M777, self-propelled gun K Vajra and other lethal weapon systems left every invitee at the event in awe. The precision of delivering the explosives in the target area, the coordination and timing of the firepower was complimented by all. Apart from the demonstration of the deadly firepower, the display of rockets, missiles, surveillance and target acquisition radars, remotely piloted aircraft and hi-tech equipment too left everyone impressed.

The latest inductions into the Army, including the Ultra-Light Howitzer M 777, self-propelled gun gave a glimpse of the increasing lethality and technical threshold of our army. The army aviation assets included the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters, Light Combat Helicopters, Chetak and Cheetah helicopter.

At the end of the show, the invitees had a close look at the weaponry system on display and got information about their origin, calibre, range, etc. The School of Artillery enjoys the unique status of an outstanding and unparalleled military institution whose alumni have excelled in all action since World War II.