Dehradun: The Indian Air Force (IAF) for the first time carried out duck drops, a parachute operation, of military boats and special forces over the country’s highest dam for drills to use water-bodies to infiltrate into enemy territory and launch attacks on their bases.
Military boats, special forces were dropped over Tehri dam. 8 Mi-17 V5s lined up at Leh airbase to drop special forces. Forces were air dropped in Myoma, Tsangtse valleys close to China border
The reservoir of the Tehri dam in Uttarakhand was used for the exercise by the Air Forces sword arm western air command for simulating a waterbody acting as a border between India and its neighbouring countries, like the Pangong lake on the India-China border.
During the war game, the Air Force used its C-130J Super Hercules from the Hindon airbase which first dropped a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) followed by a team of Garud commandos who used the waterbody to launch attacks on enemy bases to make inroads into their areas, government sources said.
In the largest ever war games conducted by the IAF Gagan Shakti almost half the effort has been put in by the western air command, which covers areas from Siachen glacier with Pakistan and Eastern Ladakh in the north to the western deserts in Rajasthan.
During the war games conducted close to the borders with China, the command extensively used its fleet for rapid deployment of troops from one valley to another.
In one such drill on Thursday, a fleet of eight Mi-17V5 medium-lift helicopters was used to rapidly deploy troops close to the Nyoma airbase, a few kilometres from China border in Ladakh and Tangste valley at an altitude of 13,500 feet, the sources said.
The transport planes and helicopters were given protection by the MiG-29 air defence fighters to thwart any attack by enemy planes during the exercise. In another high-voltage operation, the Gaggal airport near Dharamshala was simulated as an enemy disused advanced landing ground in the border to capture it and use it for launching attacks.