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IAF to carry out battalion level air-drop for Army exercise

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 17 (UNI) In a display of inter-Service synergy, the Indian Air Force will carry out airdrop of an Army Battalion tonight at the Sidwa Khas Range near Ludhiana as part of the ongoing Army exercise 'Sanghe Shakti'.

Three IL-76s and 22 AN-32s -- drawn from various IAF transport Squadrons -- would be taking part in this exercise contributing air transport operations of a magnitude last witnessed nearly ten years ago, an official spokesman here said.

Air Commodore TK Venugopal, Air Officer Commanding of IAF's Chandigarh Air Base, has been designated as the Task Force Commander for the mission, according to an official spokesman here.

The airdropping of the troops is carried out to drop own troops behind enemy lines and these troops are tasked to soften the enemy defences so as to enable the forward march of friendly forces. The aerial platforms best suited for air operations of these magnitudes are the heavy and medium lift transport aircraft.

During these operations when troops are dispatched from supporting aircraft, the forces are required to engage in combat immediately. The Indian Air Force's transport fleet is also required to carry out their subsequent maintenance support until a surface linkup is effected or withdrawal is accomplished.

These special air transport operations call for special skills of precision flying, close formation and accurate navigation on part of the aircrew, the spokesman said.

UNI DG RL HT1825

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