Exercise Bharat Shakti: In Pokhran, armed forces conduct live-fire and manoeuvre drills with indigenous weapons and platforms

Team India Sentinels Tuesday 12th of March 2024 04:54 PM

Two Indian Army armoured vehicles at the Pokhran Firing Range during Exercise Bharat Shakti. (Photo: MoD)

Pokhran: In a display of national strength and technological prowess, the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force conducted “Bharat Shakti” – a joint live-fire and manoeuvre exercise with indigenously developed weapon systems and platforms at Rajasthan’s Pokhran Firing Range. The event served as a powerful demonstration of the country’s growing self-reliance in defence.

The prime minister, Narendra Modi, and leaders and dignitaries from 30 countries witnessed the awe-inspiring event, which showcased India’s indigenous defence weaponry and coordinated manoeuvring by the three services.

The 50-minute exercise simulated a realistic, multi-domain operational scenario. It showcased the integrated capabilities of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force to counter multidomain threats across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.

The exercise prominently featured a range of indigenously developed defence equipment. The Army showcased its might with indigenously manufactured tanks, artillery systems, the Akash air-defence system, and advanced drones. The Navy displayed its maritime prowess with naval anti-ship missiles, autonomous cargo drones, and expendable aerial targets. The Air Force took to the skies with the indigenously built Tejas light combat aircraft, light utility helicopters, and the weaponized versions of the advanced light helicopter.

Bharat Shakti also highlighted advancements in battlefield integration and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in modern warfare. The seamless coordination between the three services and the utilization of AI-powered systems underscored India’s commitment to building a future-proof defence apparatus.

The day also saw the unfortunate crash of an Air Force Tejas LCA at Jaisalmer, around 100 kilometres from here in Pokhran. Whether the fighter was participating in Bharat Shakti is not clear.

Modi lauds armed forces

After the event, the prime minister addressed the crowd gathered for the event. During his speech, Modi applauded the armed forces. He emphasized that “Bharat Shakti” symbolized the call of a new India.

He recalled that it was at Pokhran where India conducted its nuclear tests in the past. He said, “Pokhran has become witness to the ‘trinity’ of India’s atmanirbharta (self-reliance), vishwas (belief), and self-pride (atmagaurav).”

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