In the presence of a high-level Chinese People's Army delegation, Indian armed forces on Friday conducted the largest ever war games in recent times in the Thar desert showcasing its prowess for short high-intensity wars in a digitised battlefield.
This is the first time a Chinese military team witnessed such an exercise. Defence attaches from many countries were also present.
In "Operation Desert Strike," the Army and the Air Force deployed their latest acquisitions, including Russian T-90 tanks, mechanised infantry combat vehicles in tandem with force multipliers like Israeli Searcher and Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, to carry out rapid deep penetration blitzkrieg thrusts.
Synergy between air and ground forces marked the Corps-level exercises with IAF fighters such as Mirage 2000, ground attack MiG-27s, deep penetration Jaguars, upgraded MiG-21 Bisons and attack helicopters showering fire from air to pave the way for armour and mechanised columns to strike deep.
The previous high-intensity war games were held in the desert in 1987 codenamed "Operation Brasstacks."
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Army Chief J. J. Singh, Vice-Chief of the Air Staff Ajit Bhavnani and services top brass witnessed the war games.
Mr. Mukherjee told reporters later that the Government would spare no effort to further speed up modernisation of the forces. India was not merely interested in buying fifth generation fighter aircraft from Russia but would like to be involved in its conceptualisation.
Welcoming the Chinese delegation, he said they were invited so that they can acquaint themselves with the professionalism of the Indian armed forces. He denied that India has sought Moscow's cooperation for development of indigenous nuclear submarines during talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Ivanov, as reported in a section of the media.
``It was wrongly represented. When we talk of submarines, it was conventional submarines. We discussed Amur class diesel-electric submarines, which Russia wants to sell to India. We did not discuss ATV (Advance Technology Vessel). It came from them,'' he said.