In light of the ongoing standoff with China, the Indian Air Force told officials that Exercise Pralay would involve all of its key air facilities in the northeast, including the recently relocated drone units. Several Air Force combat assets, including the fighter jets Su-30 and Rafale, as well as transport and other aircraft, would be activated during the exercise.

The IAF has conducted a similar command-level drill in recent months. The entire northeast air space along the China border is under the control of the Indian Air Force's Eastern Command in Shillong, which regularly sends out fighters to intercept Chinese aircraft that are attempting to fly too close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) or move in a direction toward Indian installations there.

The upcoming exercise will also take place at a time when the Indian Air Force has deployed and turned on the S-400 air defence squadron in the region, which is capable of intercepting any hostile missile or aircraft from up to 400 kilometres away.

Recently, the IAF relocated a squadron of drones from other bases to the northeast in order to improve its ability to track enemy activity along the Sikkim and the Siliguri Corridor sector. Chinese activities in the Doklam region have also increased, according to officials, and they are constantly being monitored by Indian security forces.

A face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in 2017 in the Doklam region was settled after diplomatic talks between the two countries. As per Lt Gen Anil Bhatt (Retd), China wants to test India's resolve, see what Beijing can get away with, and keep the LAC active and growing in both economic and military might.

"We know geo-politically that in Asia if there is a rival, of course international leader USA, in Asia if any country which has not caught into the Chinese bandwagon it is India," he said.