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Military Might
On display, Army’s swift-strike capability

Summer war game Yodha Shakti concludes
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 9
The Army’s four-week long summer war game “Yodha Shakti” --- which showcased its ability to inflict maximum damage on enemy targets in shortest possible time --- concluded in the Rajasthan deserts on Friday. The exercise, which saw the Army using a sizeable component of its strike corps formations with an active operational support from the IAF, is a part of cold-start doctrine formulated after operation Parakaram in 2001.

During the latest exercise, nearly12,000-14,000 troops were pulled out from the Mathura-based 1 Strike Corps, the armoured formations at Patiala, Hissar and Jhansi. They practised battle maneuvers in hostile conditions in the Mahajan ranges of the desert state.

The new night vision devices fitted on the T-90 tanks were also tested for the first time. The tanks had come a cropper in this category when these were pitted against the home-built Arjun in a shootout in February. Removing “night blindness” on the T-90 is one of the immediate tasks of the Army.

The land-air synergy between the Army and the Air Force, which is essential for conducting operations deep inside enemy territory was best displayed. The war game witnessed heliborne operations behind the ‘enemy’ lines, airborne drop by paratroopers and multiple manoeuvres by the mechanised forces and attack helicopters in the operational depth with intense synergy and integration between the Army and Air Force.

The IAF also demonstrated how the aerial route could be used to send supplies to an armoured division deep inside enemy territory. Notably, leading the paradrop was the second senior-most officer of the Indian Army, Vice Chief Lt Gen P Bhardwaj. The Army Chief Gen VK Singh, the South Western Army commander Lt Gen CKS Sabu along with Chief of the Western Air Command Air Marshall NAK Browne attended the final phase of the exercise.





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