A highlight will be the demonstration of indigenous Surface to Air Weapon systems, Akash and Samar
In a display of aerial prowess and strategic might, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to conduct Exercise Vayu Shakti-2024 on February 17, 2024, at the Pokhran Air to Ground Range, near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. This event marks a significant moment in the IAF's calendar, coming five years after the last edition, which took the nation's breath away on February 16, 2019.

Exercise Vayu Shakti, synonymous with a comprehensive demonstration of the IAF's offensive and defensive capabilities, promises an even more captivating showcase this year, covering operations both by day and night. 

This year's exercise is particularly noteworthy for its scale and the array of aircraft participating. A total of 121 aircraft will grace the skies over Pokhran, displaying an impressive lineup that includes both indigenous marvels and formidable global fighters. Among the stars of the show are the indigenous Tejas fighter, the attack helicopter Prachand, and the Dhruv advanced light helicopter. The contingent includes the Rafale, Mirage-2000, Sukhoi-30 MKI, and Jaguar fighters, alongside support and tactical aircraft like the Hawk, C-130J, Chinook, Apache, and Mi-17.

A highlight of Exercise Vayu Shakti-2024 is the demonstration of indigenous Surface to Air Weapon systems, Akash and Samar. These systems are expected to showcase their advanced capabilities in tracking and neutralizing intruding aircraft, a clear signal of India's growing self-reliance in defense technology.

The exercise is more than just a demonstration of air power. It is an assertion of the IAF's precision capabilities, both in long-range engagements and conventional warfare. The participating aircraft will undertake a variety of missions from multiple air bases, emphasizing the force's ability to deliver devastating blows accurately and on time.

Adding a layer of complexity and operational realism, special operations involving the IAF's transport and helicopter fleets, as well as the Garuds—India's elite special forces unit—and elements of the Indian Army, will also be conducted. These operations will highlight the versatility and adaptability of the forces in executing high-stakes missions in varied terrains and conditions.

Exercise Vayu Shakti-2024 is not just a demonstration of India's military might; it is a reaffirmation of the nation's commitment to peace and security, showcasing an integrated defense force ready to protect its sovereignty against all odds. As the skies over Pokhran prepare to witness this spectacular event, the nation looks forward with pride and anticipation to an exhibition of unmatched skill, coordination, and firepower.

The event, open to observation by international dignitaries and media, will further reinforce India's position on the global stage as a nation with formidable aerial capabilities and a robust defense infrastructure. As the countdown to February 17 begins, all eyes are set on the Indian Air Force, ready to soar into the future with strength, agility, and unyielding spirit.