Operation 'Live Wire' air exercise to test IAF's preparedness

The Indian Air Force will hold its biggest ever wargame by deploying all its frontline aircraft, including the Su-30MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 and AWACS, at its exercise codenamed 'Operation Live wire'. Live Wire will be IAF's biggest exercise in a decade following its 80th anniversary celebrations.

Live wire had earlier been scheduled for last March but was deferred. The last such drill, though at a slightly smaller scale, was carried out six years ago.

The aerial exercise Operation 'Live Wire' will be held between March 24 and April 15 and will involve the assets of IAF's main operational formations including the Delhi-based Western Command and Gandhinagar-based South Western Command, IAF officials said.

India's IL-76 Phalcon Awacs

Live wire is the most ambitious of these events since it will involve the entire IAF. Exercises will be held in every command, both separately and in an integrated manner.

The exercise is aimed at proving IAF's warfighting concepts under a networked atmosphere, they said.

During the wargame, the IAF will practice for fighting both conventional and non-conventional warfare which would including manoeuvres to carry out surgical strikes, they said.

The IAF will also deploy its latest acquisition C-130 Super Hercules for the wargames along with the AWACS.

The AWACS will control the air operations of all the fighter aircraft in the exercise.

This will be capped by the air force's participation in the Red Flag exercise hosted by the US Air Force at the Nellis Air Force base in the United States.

After the two internal drills of Iron Fist and Live Wire, IAF combat pilots will fly to the Nellis Air Force base in the US state of Nevada for the Red Flag exercise.

The IAF had earlier participated in the Red Flag, a multinational training in which real battlefield situations are simulated, in 2008.

Eight Su-30 MKI fighters had undergone the rigorous exercise, winning accolades for the IAF's professionalism.


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