New Delhi: The Indian Air Force on Saturday carried out a mega exercise in Pokhran, Rajasthan which involved exhibiting its capability of indigenously-developed platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and efficacy of the Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile.

The firepower demonstration near the border with Pakistan involved almost all variants of its fighter jets and attack helicopters. Fighter jets and helicopters hit targets during day and night. For the first time, the ALH and the Akash were deployed in the military exercise.

The IAF also deployed an upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role during the exercise. A total of 137 aircraft including Su-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules, AN-32 aircraft participated.

The IAF also deployed an upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role during the exercise. A total of 137 aircraft including Su-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules, AN-32 aircraft participated.

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, defence attaches of several countries and top officials of defence ministry were also present during the demonstration. Cricket legend and honorary group captain of the IAF Sachin Tendulkar was also present.

The exercise came two days after the suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad. At least 44 CRPF personnel were killed and several others injured in Pulwama district when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the bus they were travelling in.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said security forces were granted full freedom to retaliate against the attack.

(With Agency inputs)