IAF Western Air Command’s Annual Exercise Trishul Kicks Off

Indian Air Force

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force launched its annual training exercise, Trishul on September 4. The exercise Trishul, of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Western Air Command (WAC) will see activation of all air assets and force multipliers spread across the Line of Control with Pakistan to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. The exercise involves the Indian Air Force (IAF) deploying its most advanced assets, including fighter jets like Rafale and air defence systems like S-400, MRSAM, and Spyder.

“The exercise is scheduled from September 4-14 and will validate the command’s operational preparedness and will see the employment of all the frontline assets from fighter jets, transport aircraft, helicopters and other force multipliers in high tempo,” a defence official said.

According to sources, the Trishul exercise, which is being held along the northern borders with Pakistan and China, helps with the overall plan to ensure an integrated air defence cover for the G-20 meet, which will also see the IAF deploy a plethora of defensive and offensive assets in and around Delhi. Fighters such as the Mirage 2000 and the Rafale will be carrying out Combat Air Patrol (CAPs) while air defence systems such as anti-aircraft guns, besides the 25-kilometre-range Akash and the nearly 70-kilometre-range Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), have been deployed in and around Delhi. The longer-range air defence systems like the S-400 will also be in action providing a continuous multi-layer cover. Anti-drone systems have also been put in place, sources added.

The Indian military has seen a major reorientation from its focus from Pakistan to China since the stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh in May 2020. The IAF has maintained a high tempo of operations. As the Army mobilised in a big way, the IAF pressed in its entire transport fleet and airlifted over 68,000 troops, 330 infantry vehicles and over 90 tanks in addition to artillery guns.

The exercise Trishul focuses on the northern borders with China and Pakistan and aims to provide comprehensive air defence cover for the G-20 summit. Simultaneously, the Indian Army is conducting its exercises in Ladakh. More troops have been deployed before the harsh winter sets in, while those scheduled for rotation have been temporarily retained. This temporary surge in troop density in Ladakh, including specialized mountain warfare units and Para commandos, is part of a routine seasonal exercise to ensure preparedness for the winter months.

Flexing its muscles along its borders and airspace while preparing to welcome world leaders for the G-20 summit, these exercises by India’s military demonstrates India’s commitment to security and readiness.