Bharat Shakti Exercise at Pokhran Showcased Power of Strength of Indigenous Defence Equipment

Indian Army

New Delhi: Witnessing a combined demonstration of indigenous defence equipment in the form of a tri-services live fire and manoeuvre exercise Bharat Shakti at Pokhran in Rajasthan on March 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Aatmanirbharta for India’s defence needs is the guarantee of self-confidence in the armed forces.

During exercise Bharat Shakti, the three Services showcased the shock and awe that it seek to achieve in an operational situation by employing the manoeuvre and fighting capabilities effectively. Over a 50 minute duration, several top-line equipment development and license manufactured in India were put through paces, including T-90 (IM) tanks, Dhanush and Sarang artillery guns, Akash surface to air system, logistics drones, robotic mules, light combat aircraft and advanced light helicopter among others.

Along with delegates from more than 30 nations, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Bhajan Lal Sharma, Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Anil Chauhan, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Manoj Pandey, Chief of Air Force Staff, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar witnessed the tri-service exercise ‘Bharat Shakti’ at the Pokhran field firing range in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Modi said, “Today, once again Pokhran became a witness of the triveni of India’s Aatmanirbharta, self-confidence and its glory. It is the same Pokhran that witnessed India’s nuclear test and today we are witnessing the power of strength from indigenisation.” The ‘Bharat Shakti’ exercise showcased the calibrated tactical employment of niche technology in a tri-services environment against perceived threats while analysing the procurement undertaken by the Indian armed forces’ to become self-reliant.

“In the last 10 years, equipment worth Rs 6 lakh crore has been procured from Indian companies. During this period defence production of the country has doubled to more than Rs 1 lakh crore and more than 150 defence startups have started and defence forces have given them orders worth Rs 1800 crore, he noted. “The idea of Viksit Bharat is unimaginable without aatmanirbhar Bharat”, he said underscoring the need to reduce dependence on others.

Prime Minister Modi said, “Roar of aircraft mid-air, valour displayed on ground during ‘Bharat Shakti’ exercise is the call of a New India.”. Noting that the exercise was a step towards this resolution, he said that India is laying emphasis on aatmanirbharta from edible oils to fighter jets. The success of aatmanirbharta in defence can be seen with India’s tanks, cannons, fighter jets, helicopters and missile systems which reflect India’s strength, he added. “We are experiencing the flight of Made in India with arms and ammunition, communication devices, cyber and space. This is indeed Bharat Shakti”, he stated.

Displaying an array of indigenous weapon systems and platforms as a demonstration of the prowess of the country, premised on the nation’s Aatmanirbharata initiative, the ‘Bharat Shakti’ exercise simulated realistic, synergised, multi-domain operations displaying integrated operational capabilities of the Indian armed forces to counter threats across land, air, sea, cyber, and space domains.

Prime Minister Modi mentioned policy reforms and roping in the private sector and encouragement of Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises and startups in the field, while listing out the steps for making India self-reliant in the defence sector.

While the Indian Army showcased the advanced ground warfare and aerial surveillance capabilities, the Indian Navy highlighting maritime strength and technological sophistication, showcased naval anti-ship missiles, autonomous cargo carrying aerial vehicles, and expendable aerial targets. The Indian Air Force (IAF) showcased the indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas, light utility helicopters, and advanced light helicopters to demonstrate air superiority and versatility in air operations.