Chandigarh, Nov 30 (UNI) The Indian Air Force (IAF) is holding a multi-role exercise 'Dakshin Prahar' covering the entire southern peninsula, including the Lakshadweep and Minicoy group of islands, in the first week of December.
The exercise being conducted by the Southern Air Command (SAC), would be held in two phases. In the first phase, the southern part of the peninsula from Bangalore to Kanyakumari and Lakshadweep and Minicoy Island group would be activated during December 3 to 5. The second phase would be held in the northern part of the peninsula from Hyderabad to a little south of Nagpur from December 7 to 9.
During the exercise, state of the art aircrafts such as Mirage-2000, Su-30s and Jaguars will be simulating friendly and hostile forces over long aerial ranges covering the length and breadth of the country using air to air Refuelling facilities and off-base operations. Other aircrafts participating in the associated logistical support are the mammoth IL-76, the workhorse AN-32 and ubiquitous Mi-8 helicopters. Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) have also been included in the exercise.
A very significant and contemporary concept of 'Flexi Airspace' forms the foundation of this exercise. The IAF and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) will jointly share the airspace by means of close coordination so that a smooth flow of traffic is maintained without causing disruption to scheduled flights. This is the first time that coordination of civil-military traffic for simultaneous air activity is taking place at such large scale.
The vast geographical region of southern peninsula has so far remained dormant from holding such exercises and the SAC has now taken steps to guard the skies of this strategically and economically important part of the country.
'Dakshin Prahar' is the first step aimed to activate the Air Defence assets deployed in the region and carry out a functional assessment of its Air Defence network.
With the conduct of this exercise, a necessary process of building up air dominance and operationaliszation of the area of responsibility of the Southern Air Command over the peninsular region will begin earnestly.