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Indian Air Force jets do 5,000 sorties in 72 hours on western front

Indian Air Force jets do 5,000 sorties in 72 hours on western front

NEW DELHI: After the “surge” in air combat operations on the western front with Pakistan, which saw a staggering 5,000 sorties by fighters alone in just three days last week, the Indian Air Force(IAF) has now switched its forces to the northern borders with China from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

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No, the worst-case scenario of a two-front war has not suddenly hit India. Instead, the IAF’s entire war machinery has been activated for the ongoing pan-India exercise “GaganShakti” . “It’s the biggest such exercise in terms of scale since Operation Brasstacks in 1986-1987, or Operation Parakram in 2001-2002 when India nearly went to war with Pakistan after the terror attack on Parliament,” said a senior officer.

Despite having just 31 fighter squadrons, when 42 are required to tackle the Pakistan-China threat, the IAF has pulled out all stops to hone its war-fighting skills by testing offensive and defensive capabilities on the two fronts.

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As many as 1,150 fighters, aircraft, helicopters and drones as well as hundreds of air defence missile, radar, surveillance and other units have been deployed for the high-voltage exercise, which is taking place with active participation from Army and Navy for integrated land-air-sea combat operations. The IAF has systematically worked towards achieving 83% serviceability (operational availability of the number of aircraft at any given time) for the exercise, in conjunction with defence PSUs like Hindustan Aeronauticsand base repair depots, from the usual 55%-60% in peacetime.

The aim of the exercise is to validate our operational capabilities and concepts in a realistic war-like scenario as well as check our ability to sustain high-tempo operations. It’s not aimed at any country,” said IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa. But the game-plan is quite clear. If the focus in the western theatre was to generate the maximum possible sorties with the same number of fighters to overwhelm the enemy forces, the intent in the eastern one is to operate from dispersed locations to avoid the adversary’s rocket forces while undertaking deep strikes with Sukhoi-30MKI fighters being refueled in mid-air by IL-78 aircraft.

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The combat manoeuvres along the northern borders will also see intensive high-altitude operations at advanced landing grounds and helipads, some as high as 20,000 feet, as also inter-valley troop transfers and logistics sustenance by heavy-duty helicopters to make up for the lack of roads.

“Fighters are also practising concentrated weapon releases in realistic attack scenarios all throughout Gagan-Shakti, which includes firing precisionweapons with ‘through window’ capabilities. A simulated battalion-level airborne assault behind enemy lines, which included paradrop of 560 soldiers, combat vehicles and GPS-guided cargo platforms, has also been undertaken with six C-130J Super Hercules and seven AN-32 aircraft launched from multiple airbases,” said another officer.

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GaganShakti, in short, reiterates the primacy and flexibility of airpower in modern-day battles.The Sukhoi-30MKIs, which have a combat radius of about 1,500-km without mid-air refueling, for instance, have even got airborne from an eastern coast airbase to strike multiple targets in the western seaboard at distances beyond 2,200 km before landing at a southern base to cover a total distance of around 4,000 km in single non-stop missions.

Courtesy:Times of India

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From Dulles to Trump: Washington Airport Renaming Sparks Attention

From Dulles to Trump: Washington Airport Renaming Sparks Attention

House Republicans have recently introduced a bill in Congress that seeks to rename Washington Dulles International Airport, situated in Sterling, Virginia, near the nation’s capital, to “Donald J. Trump International Airport.”

The proposed renaming aims to honor former President Donald J. Trump, with supporters of the bill citing his leadership as a pinnacle of national greatness. They envision the new name as a symbol of freedom, prosperity, and strength, echoing sentiments shared by millions of domestic and international travelers who would pass through the airport.

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Currently, Washington Dulles International Airport is named after the late Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, a dedication that dates back to 1984. Before that, it was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

Despite the introduction of the bill, its prospects for passage appear dim due to the Democrat-controlled Senate and the narrow Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, along with six cosponsors, acknowledges the uphill battle, recognizing the challenges posed by the political landscape.

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Notably, this proposal wouldn’t mark the first time an airport in the D.C. area has been named after a Republican president, with the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport already established in Arlington, Virginia.

While some Republicans champion the renaming initiative, there is considerable opposition, particularly among Democrats. Democratic Rep. Representing part of northern Virginia encompassing Dulles, strongly opposes the idea, pointing to legal issues surrounding Trump and suggesting alternative honors.

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The bill, if passed, would mandate that all official references to the airport in laws, regulations, documents, and records be changed to Donald J. Trump International Airport. However, with the current political climate, the chances of the bill progressing through Congress and becoming law remain slim.

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IndiGo Eyes Widebody Jets, Ramping Up Air India Competition

Malaysia Airlines And IndiGo Sign MoU To Boost Tourism

IndiGo, Asia’s largest budget carrier, is edging closer to a significant strategic move as it explores the purchase of widebody aircraft, according to Bloomberg.

This potential decision not only signifies the airline’s ambition to expand its international reach but also sets the stage for heightened competition with established players like Air India Ltd.

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While IndiGo is still in the process of evaluating various options, insiders suggest that an order for approximately 30 Airbus SE A350s is emerging as the frontrunner. However, these sources, preferring anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the information, stress that the airline has yet to make a final announcement. They caution that factors such as timing and the final number of planes could still influence IndiGo’s decision.

indigo airlines booking contemplation of acquiring widebody jets is not a spontaneous move. The airline has long pondered the idea of venturing into long-haul services to cater to the increasing demand from affluent Indian travelers seeking destinations like the UK and Europe.

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IndiGo’s already substantial relationship with Airbus, underscored by a monumental order for 500 A320neo family aircraft last year, further underscores its position as a major player in the aviation industry. With a backlog of around 1,000 aircraft, indigo manage booking
stands poised to make a strategic leap forward in its operational scope.

Recently, Under the terms of its extended codeshare arrangement with Qantas Airways, the national airline of Australia, IndiGo, the preferred carrier of India, has announced the addition of 11 new routes, effective March 31, 2024.

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Customers of indigo flight can now travel across popular tourist destinations with ticket sales beginning on March 12, 2024. indigo flight booking Australia’s major cities, including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne.

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Gateway to UAE: Visa-On-Arrival Now Access for 87 Countries

Gateway to UAE: Visa-On-Arrival Now Access for 87 Countries

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates has announced an amendment to its visa exemption policy, which is a significant step towards improving tourism and making travel easier.

Now, residents of 87 nations will be able to visit the United Arab Emirates without having to worry about securing a pre-entry visa.

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The visa process has been made more open and accessible, even though nationals of 110 countries still need one to enter the UAE. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official website makes it simple for interested parties to see the list of exempt countries and visa requirements.

For citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the entry process is even smoother, as no visa or sponsorship is required. Simply presenting a GCC state passport or identity card upon arrival at UAE ports of entry is sufficient for entry.

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Notably, visas on arrival are available to Indian individuals with passports, US visit visas or green cards, and UK or EU residency permits good for at least six months. Travellers from these areas will have flexibility because they can stay for an additional 14 days after their initial 14-day stay.

The list of countries now eligible for visa-on-arrival privileges encompasses a diverse array of nations, including Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany.

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Hungary, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Bahamas, The Netherlands, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, US, Vatican, Hellenic, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

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