Exercise Talon: IAF, army improving operational preparedness along LoC

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IAF 2The Indian Air Force’s operational command on the western front has sounded a red alert in the form of a war game—’Exercise Talon’—being carried out in all its 18 air bases and other installations from Srinagar to Bikaner.

The objective is to improve operational preparedness and air defence along the J&K to Rajasthan stretch, as per media reports.

Though it (war game) is defensive in nature, with combat air patrols and passive air defence and ground defence operations, it showed that IAF is leaving nothing to chance in the wake of Pakistan’s F-16s and other fighters violating Indian airspace and practising landing on highways.

The Indian Army too is upgrading its readiness along the LoC and fine-tuning plans along with IAF after the Uri attack. While WAC chief Air Marshal SB Deo has been visiting various airbases under his command, chiefs of army’s South-Western Command (Jaipur), Western Command (Chandimandir) and Northern Command (Udhampur) are reviewing areas under their command.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has barred low-flying aircraft over Karachi airspace, a stone’s throw from the international border at Gujarat and Rajasthan, for a week beginning from September 26.

Pakistan had issued a notice to airmen (Notam) that certain “routes within Karachi flight information region (FIR) will not be available from surface to 33,000 feet (flight level) due operational reasons”.

A Notam notice (notice filed with an aviation authority) means that aircraft flying between Gulf and central and northeast India will be required to maintain flight levels of 33,000 feet in the Karachi airspace and FIR. Aircraft on this route fly over Karachi, then enter India from Ahmedabad FIR before proceeding to Nagpur and Bhubaneswar, depending on where they are headed to.