IAF jets do 5k sor­ties in 72 hrs on west­ern front

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Ra­jat.Pan­dit@

New Delhi: Af­ter the “surge” in air com­bat op­er­a­tions on the west­ern front with Pak­istan, which saw a stag­ger­ing 5,000 sor­ties by fight­ers alone in just three days last week, the In­dian Air Force (IAF) has now switched its forces to the north­ern borders with China from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

No, the worst-case sce­nario of a two-front war has not sud­denly hit In­dia. In­stead, the IAF’s en­tire war ma­chin­ery has been ac­ti­vated for the on­go­ing pan-In­dia ex­er­cise “Ga­ganShakti”. “It’s the big­gest such ex­er­cise in terms of scale since Op­er­a­tion Brasstacks in 1986-1987, or Op­er­a­tion Parakram in 2001-2002 when In­dia nearly went to war with Pak­istan af­ter the ter­ror at­tack on Par­lia­ment,” said a se­nior of­fi­cer.

De­spite hav­ing just 31fighter squadrons, when 42 are re­quired to tackle the Pak­istanChina threat, the IAF has pulled out all stops to hone its war-fight­ing skills by test­ing of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­i­ties on the two fronts.

The IAF’s en­tire war ma­chin­ery has been ac­ti­vated for “Ga­ganShakti”, the big­gest such ex­er­cise since Op­er­a­tion Parakram in 2001

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