Exercise 'Poorvi Akash' tests IAF’s versatility, Chinook, Tejas, and Sudarshan S-400s deployed at LAC

The Indian Air Force conducted the 'Poorvi Akash' exercise along the China border, showcasing its operational readiness with high-tech weapons.

The exercise's success demonstrated the IAF's capability to respond to threats along the north-eastern border.

In a major aerial exercise conducted across the north-eastern states along the China border, the Indian Air Force showcased its operational readiness and capabilities. Codenamed 'Poorvi Akash,' the exercise, held from October 30 to November 4, involved joint operations with the Indian Army and featured high-tech weapons, including the formidable 'Sudarshan' S-400 air defense missile systems.

The 'Sudarshan' chakra, named after the main weapon of Bhagwan Shri Krishna, represents a potent symbol of Indian air defence. Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, leading the Indian Air Force, decided to name the S-400 air defence missile systems imported from Russia after the Sudarshan chakra, signifying their importance in the exercise.

Major Platforms And Objectives

This large-scale exercise featured a range of major platforms, such as the S-400 air defence missile systems, Rafale and Tejas fighter jets, and Prachand light combat helicopters, all deployed in the north-eastern region. The objective was to demonstrate the operational readiness and capabilities of the Indian Air Force, particularly in the Eastern Air Command (EAC), which plays a pivotal role in controlling air operations over a vast area spanning 12 states, including the north-eastern states of India.

'Exercise Poorvi Akash' aimed to showcase the application of air power in various roles, encompassing both defensive and offensive operations, conducted day and night. It also focused on enhancing the synergy between the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force in joint operations.

Joint Operations And Realistic Scenarios

The exercise featured joint operations with the Eastern Command (EC) of the Indian Army, with both forces collaborating in the challenging and diverse terrain of the eastern sector. Special forces, including the Garud Special Forces and the Indian Army's Special Forces, were involved in executing special missions. The air defense assets of both services were also deployed to simulate realistic battle scenarios.

Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari was present in the north-eastern sector during the exercise, emphasizing the high-level commitment to this operation. Additionally, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan had taken part in a table top exercise in Shillong before the start of 'Ex Poorvi Akash' as part of the broader efforts to achieve jointness and integration among the armed forces, especially in the creation of theatre commands for joint warfighting.

Comprehensive Testing And Successful Collaboration

The exercise included a wide range of operations, maintenance activities, and administrative tasks to assess operational preparedness and conduct realistic training. Notably, the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter 'Prachand' made one of its first high-elevation Advance Landing Ground deployments, collaborating closely with ground forces and other combat platforms and systems.

The exercise also saw the deployment of the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft 'TEJAS' and heavy-lift Chinook helicopters in various missions. It culminated on November 4, having successfully achieved numerous synergy goals between the Indian Air Force and the Army during its conduct. 'Poorvi Akash' served as a testament to the Indian Air Force's capability to effectively respond to threats and enhance national defence along the north-eastern border.