(Press Release | Unedited)
IRON FIST – 2013 was conceived as a visible demonstration of not only the deterrent and joint war fighting capabilities of the IAF but also a reaffirmation of IAF"s commitment to nation building through its more benign and non kinetic capabilities. 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.
Showcasing more than 30 types of platforms and Weapons Systems amounting to a participation of about 230 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 1V, the newly inducted Mi-17 V5 and Mi-35 Attack Helicopters will constitute the Rotary Wing ingredients. The Sarang Helicopter Aerobatic Display Team and low level aerobatics by SU-30 aircraft would be the added attraction to the event
The IAF would also be showcasing, for the first time, its Surface to Air Missile Systems like the shoulder fired IGLA, the vehicle mounted and mobile OSA-AK M and the longer range PECHORA. The exercise would also showcase its latest acquisition the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II basic trainer aircraft and Bambi Bucket Operations by Mi-17 V5 helicopter. The events at - Iron Fist intend to display various aspects of Fire Power like- Air Defence Operations, Counter Surface Force Operations, Urban Warfare, Combat Search Rescue Operations, Assault Approach and Landing, Combat Offloading and Short Take off by C-130 J at the Landing Strip prepared at the Range.
Being a display of armament delivery skills by pilots at the end of their training year, this year, for the first time, trainee pilots would be displaying their armament delivery skills flying the Hawk Aircraft. Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), two of the most prestigious indigenous projects would form a part of the display. In addition, IAF's Parajumping Team, Akash Ganga, IAF's Air Warrior Drill Team, 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. The exercise also aids commanders and planners to gain better insight into the potential and deployment capabilities of aerial weapons. Very few air forces in the world can achieve this feat.
Being the Supreme commander of the Armed Forces The Honble President of India would be the chief guest for the event . This year for the first time the Prime Minister of India would also witness this mega event along with the Defence Minister Shri A K Antony.