February 22, 2013 would witness the Indian Air Force demonstrate its operational capabilities by day, dusk and night at the sprawling facility of the Pokharan Range, the largest air –to-ground weapons firing range for training in delivery of heavy armament, near Jaisalmer, in the arid Rajasthan Sector in an Exercise named – Iron Fist.
Showcasing more than 30 types of platforms and Weapons Systems amounting to a participation of over 200 aircraft, this Fire Power Display will demonstrate the day and night employability of air power by frontline fighter aircraft of the IAF including - Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, Jaguar, MiG-21,MiG-27, MiG-29 and Hawks. The transport aircraft would include – C130J, AN-32, Embraer and IL-76, while Mi-8, Mi-17 V5, Mi-17 1V and Mi-35 Attack Helicopters will constitute the Rotary Wing ingredients.
Being a display of armament delivery skills by pilots at the end of their training year, the exercise also aids commanders and planners to gain better insight into the potential and deployment capabilities of aerial weapons.
The IAF would also be showcasing, for the first time, its Surface to Air Missile Systems and its latest aircraft Pilatus PC-7 Mk II. The events at - Iron Fist intend to display various aspects of Fire Power like- Air Defence Operations, Counter Surface Force Operations, Urban Warfare and Combat Search Rescue Operations.
Light Combat Aircraft and Light Combat Helicopter, two of the most prestigious indigenous projects would also form a part of the display. In addition, IAF’s Parajumping Team, Akash Ganga, IAF’s Air Warrior Drill Team and Air Warrior Symphony Orchestra would also perform.
Aimed at providing the nation the reassurance that the IAF will deliver whenever called upon, a demonstration of this magnitude is being carried out for the first time by day, dusk and night. Very few air forces in the world can achieve this feat.