The major aerial exercise ‘Poorvi Akash’ held across the northeastern states along the China border by the Indian Air Force included joint operations with the Army and involved high-tech lethal weapons such as the ‘Sudarshan’ S-400 air defence missile systems. ‘Sudarshan’ chakra is the main weapon of Bhagwan Shri Krishna.
The Indian Air Force led by Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has named the S-400 air defence missile systems imported from Russia after the Sudarshan chakra as Sudarshan. “The Indian Air Force exercise had operations by major platforms including the S-400 air defence missile systems, the Rafale and Tejas fighter jets along with the Prachand light combat helicopters in the northeastern region,” defence officials told ANI.
The wargames were carried out by the Eastern Air Command (EAC) codenamed ‘Poorvi Akash’ from October 30 to November 4. The major exercise showcased the operational readiness capabilities of the Indian Air Force and the Eastern Air Command in particular, they said. The Eastern Air Command (EAC) is one of the lethal arms of the Indian Air Force which controls air operations over a vast area of over three lakh square kilometres that straddles 12 states including the seven states of North-East India. Officials said the objective of ‘Exercise Poorvi Akash’ was the application of air power in all its roles including defensive and offensive operations and reactions to various perceived threats and was conducted by day and night. It also aimed at fine-tuning the synergy of operations undertaken jointly by the Indian Army and the IAF.
“The exercise comprised joint operations with the Eastern Command (EC) of the Indian Army in the challenging and varied terrain of the eastern sector and involved the activation of the entire Eastern Sector. “The Garud Special Forces also participated in special missions along with the Special Forces (SF) of the Indian Army. The air defence assets of the two services were also deployed to simulate realistic battle scenarios,” officials said highlighting the range of operations undertaken jointly by the two services. Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari was in the northeastern sector during the exercise while Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan had taken part in a tabletop exercise in Shillong prior to the beginning of Ex Poorvi Akash.
The CDS and services chiefs are working together to achieve jointness and integration among the forces as they move towards creating theatre commands for joint warfighting in the future. A wide range of operations, maintenance and administrative activities were conducted to check operational preparedness and carry out realistic training.
As part of the exercise, the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter Prachand’ also landed at a high-elevation Advance Landing Ground on one of its first such deployments, carrying out joint training with ground forces, alongside other combat platforms and systems. The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas’ and the heavy-lift Chinook Helicopters were among other air assets that were deployed in various missions as part of the exercise. The exercise culminated on 04 November after a very huge number of sorties were conducted by the IAF and many synergy goals with the Army were achieved during its conduct.