Indian Armed Forces to Perform Firepower Demonstration of Made-in-India Weapon Systems at ‘Bharat Shakti’ in Pokhran, Prime Minister Modi to be in Attendance

Indian Army

New Delhi:  In a first, a tri-services firepower demonstration of made-in-India weapon systems and platforms will be performed by the Indian Army, Air Force and the Navy at Rajasthan’s Pokhran Range on March 12, 2024. Named ‘Bharat Shakti’, the demonstration will display indigenously-made weapon systems with Prime Minister Narendra Modi likely to be in attendance along with Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and Army Chief General Manoj Pande.

According to officials, indigenous weapon systems like the Pinaka multi barrel rocket launchers, Arjun tanks, Dhanush howitzers, Tejas fighter aircraft, and different versions of the ALH Dhruv choppers would demonstrate their firepower during the exercise. A live demonstration of the Indian Army’s Integrated Drone Detection and Interdiction System Mark-I, made by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) And Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is likely to be one of the highlights of the exercise.

In recent past, the Army has inducted seven of these systems. This is an active and passive detection system for low radar cross section aerial targets along with hard kill and certain soft kill options, integrated through a suitable command and control system, as per the ministry of defence. The system has the ability to track 100 aerial targets at a time and engage the target at 800 metres. The range that the system will be able to detect a target at is 8 km. It can also track individual targets up to 4 km.

Aimed at showcasing the indigenous weapon systems and platforms developed and manufactured by the Indian public sector and private firms, the exercise ‘Bharat Shakti’ will also showcase the innovations by Indian Army’s innovators. Other important equipment set to be showcased include the K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers, robotic mules, mobile air defence systems, integrated drone detection and neutralisation system, Sarvatra bridging systems, minefield ploughs, Akash air defence systems and AK-203 assault rifles, according to Army officials.

Aligned with the Army observing 2024 as the year of “tech absorption”, as announced by Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande during the annual press conference, the firepower demonstration would demonstrate how all three services were capable of thwarting the enemy, in case of conflict, defence sources stated.

The exercise will include a live as well static display of weapon systems. The display will take place at a time when the three defence forces were increasingly looking to implement theaterisation, wherein their individual resources would be pooled in for combat. The Army’s artillery guns — Dhanush, Pinaka and K9 Vajra — will fire together during ‘Bharat Shakti’. The Indian Navy will carry out a live demonstration of anti-ship missiles (short range).

In the static display, the Navy will also showcase the autonomous weaponised boat swarm. The Air Force will carry out firing from LCA Tejas, LCH as well as ALH Mk-IV. Weapon locating radar Swathi and BRAHMOS missile system will also be part of the static display.