The Indian Air Force on Saturday carried out a massive demonstration of its firepower at Pokhran Range, Rajasthan which is near the border with Pakistan. The demonstration named Vayu Shakti 2019 included almost all variants of its fighter jets and attack helicopters. It was attended by Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Indian Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa, legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who is an honourary group captain of IAF, and many more were in attendance.

The Vayu Shakti 2019 demonstration comprised of indigenously-developed platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile. The Indian Air Force also demonstrated the upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role.

The IAF displayed near 137 aircraft including Su-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules and AN-32.

The Vayu Shakti 2019 exercise has come just two days after 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in a suicide bombing carried out by a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant in Kashmir’s Pulwama. People from across the world and from all walks of life came together to condole the loss of lives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had iterated that the Indian security forces have been given “free hand” to punish the perpetrators.