HomeIndian DefenceGaganshakti-2024: Indian Air Force prepares for Gaganshakti-2024 wargame to test preparedness against...

Gaganshakti-2024: Indian Air Force prepares for Gaganshakti-2024 wargame to test preparedness against Pakistan and China

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to conduct Gaganshakti-2024, a 10-day wargame starting from April 1st, aimed at testing its preparedness to counter potential threats from Pakistan and China simultaneously. This exercise, expected to surpass the scale of the 2018 all-air force drill, will evaluate integrated war-fighting strategies and tactics in collaboration with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy.

Enhanced Combat Capabilities

Following the aftermath of Operation Balakot and subsequent skirmishes with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the IAF has strengthened its arsenal with advanced weaponry. This includes the induction of French Rafale fighter jets, indigenous Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) like Prachand, and C-295 transport aircraft. The integration of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles with Sukhoi fighter jets, along with the addition of Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM) to the Rafale fleet, has significantly enhanced the IAF’s combat capabilities.Air Defence Capabilities
Furthermore, the acquisition of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles and the indigenous Astra Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air-to-air missile has augmented the IAF’s air defence capabilities. The deployment of the LCA ‘Tejas’ aircraft, particularly along the western and northern frontiers, underscores India’s commitment to leveraging indigenous technology for defence preparedness.

Strained Relations with China
Against the backdrop of strained relations with China, intensified by clashes in the Galwan Valley, the IAF’s swift response underscores the importance of readiness and preparedness in safeguarding national interests. Deployments such as the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in Eastern Ladakh and Rafale jets conducting long-duration flights in the Indian Ocean Region demonstrate the IAF’s proactive stance in countering regional threats.

Global Cooperation
Gaganshakti-2024 follows in the footsteps of Vayu Shakti, a mega firepower demonstration conducted by the IAF in the Thar desert, and precedes Tarang Shakti, the IAF’s first multinational exercise slated for August. With participation from allies such as the US, Germany, France, Australia, and neighbouring countries, Tarang Shakti underscores India’s commitment to strengthening defence cooperation and interoperability.Gaganshakti-2024 serves as a testament to India’s evolving defence capabilities and its resolve to meet emerging security challenges head-on. The upcoming wargame is expected to highlight network-centric operations, incorporating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and swarm drones, in line with evolving combat doctrines.

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