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Indian Air Force ‘Hits’ Warships In Deep Sea, Carries Out Attacks On Targets

IAF's Su-30MKI firing a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile prepared for an operational mission
Indian Air Force carried out long-range strike missions in deep sea on both eastern and western seaboard. It carried out attacks on targets, including the Malacca Straits. The Malacca Straits is the entry point of Chinese military warships into the Indian Ocean region
by Ajit Kumar Dubey
While showcasing its extensive reach, the Indian Air Force carried out long-range strike missions in deep sea on both eastern and western seaboard where it carried out attacks on targets, including the Malacca Straits, which is the entry point of Chinese military warships into the Indian Ocean region.
Top government sources said the deep sea missions during the Exercise Gagan Shakti have also shown that the Chinese 'pearl of strings' (military bases alongside Indian maritime boundary) are well within striking range of the Air Force which demonstrated the capability by carrying out missions of over 2,000 kilometres with air to air refuelling.
"Our Su-30MKI combat planes took off from air bases in Southern India including Tanjavur and Sulur where they were equipped with aerial versions of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles with a striking range of around 300 km and carried out simulated strikes in the Malacca Straits, Nine Degree Channel and other targets towards the western sea board," the sources told Mail Today.
Almost 80 per cent of Chinese merchant vessels pass through the Nine Degree Channel to move towards Chinese ports and from there to various global destinations.
The deep sea missions demonstrated the ability that through its Air Force, India can dominate the Indian Ocean Region against any military activity including that of the Chinese there, they said.
In the recent times, the Chinese have been making a foray into the Indian Ocean region by sending their fleet of warships and submarines including the nuclear ones to the Gulf of Aden passing closely through the Indian waters under the garb of carrying out anti-piracy patrols there.
"Gagan Shakti, the extensive and real war-like exercise, has also showcased India's ability to keep a check on any misadventure to operate within 2,000 kilometres of Indian mainland," the sources said.
The exercise also demonstrated the ability of the Air Force to fully obstruct any attempt by the Chinese navy to help its Pakistani counterparts in case of a full-fledged war on India's western front, as it can choke the sea lanes of communication from where they would attempt to enter the region, the sources said.
"The exercise also demonstrated that the only answer to the Chinese pearl of strings is not aircraft carriers as the Air Force has all the Chinese bases in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Sri Lanka and the upcoming one in Maldives, well within its striking range," the sources said.
The Navy has been advocating for buying more aircraft carriers including the ones powered by nuclear reactors to take on the growing Chinese naval might with Beijing focusing on building new aircraft carriers for power projection in faraway regions and bases.
During the Exercise Gaganshakti, which concluded recently, the Air Force focused greatly on tackling a two-front war scenario where in the first phase, its western command and south western air command completely suppressed the enemy on the western front while in the second phase, the formations focused on the Chinese frontiers.
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