As part of the ongoing IAF exercise ‘Gaganshakti 2018’, in a joint operation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army Parachute Brigade undertook a Battalion level airborne assault on the evening and night of April 14 , in the desert sector, informed Tezpur based defence spokesperson Lt.Col. Harsh Wardhan Pande.
This assault included para-drop of 560 paratroopers, combat vehicles and GPS guided cargo platforms.
The landing force was dropped behind the simulated enemy lines to soften up the likely resistance to Indian own armoured offensive. The airborne force comprised six C-130J and seven An-32 aircraft launched from multiple IAF bases. The force was provided aerial surveillance by AWACS and protected by a Flight of SU-30 Air Superiority Fighters.
Airborne operations are a means of aerial insertion of troops, equipment or supplies directly into the battle zone. Airborne operations are high risk operations which are based on accurate intelligence, dynamic air dominance by own forces and criticality of requirement by ground forces.
Airborne assault is a subset of Airborne Operations wherein combat troops and equipment are para dropped into the tactical battle area. These troops have specific tasks like disrupting enemy lines of communication, capture/ destruction of critical enemy infrastructure.
The accuracy and outcome of the mission highlights IAF’s multi spectral capabilities and its efficiency in providing timely support to ground forces.