Army begins exercise in Punjab to check operational readiness

May 3rd, 2009 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Barnala (Punjab), May 3 (IANS) The Indian Army Sunday started its ‘Hind Shakti’ exercise in this southwest Punjab district to check the operational readiness of its strike corps, officials said.
The exercise is being conducted as a two-sided operation aimed at practising the elite Kharga Corps in its operational task of proactive strategy, an army spokesman said.

The exercise commenced with massed mechanised manoeuvres undertaken as part of offensive operations in the plains of Punjab.

A large number of tanks, BMP combat vehicles, artillery guns and specialist vehicles commenced their manoeuvres by day and night under near war-like conditions. A parachute drop by airborne troops and other heliborne operations were also undertaken to complement mechanized forces. The operations were aimed at conducting penetrative manoeuvres into the enemy heartland.

To check the feasibility of modern equipment integrated into the army’s manoeuvres, a wide variety of state-of-the-art equipment have been fielded in the exercise. These include the concept of networked operation, which exploits real time surveillance means using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), satellite imagery, ground-based surveillance resources and mission reports from Air Force attack helicopters.

Even though the army ensured that the civilian population is least affected by the exercise, a large number of people from villages in the vicinity of the exercise zone keenly witnessed the exercise, the spokesman added.

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