The Indian Air Force (IAF) is preparing for a significant training manoeuvre named Trishul, set to occur in the northern region of India adjacent to the borders of the People’s Republic of China and Pakistan. This exercise will span from September 4, 2023, to September 14, 2023, and will align with the G20 Summit scheduled for September 8 to September 10, 2023.
Commencing on September 4, the IAF is poised to undertake an extensive eleven-day training drill along the frontiers shared with China and Pakistan Reports from the media indicate that this exercise will encompass a comprehensive array of components, including frontline jets (fighter jets), attack helicopters, mid-air refuellers and other vital aerial resources.
This mega exercise is being organised by the Western Command of the Indian Air Force, and the primary objective of this exercise is to evaluate the force’s combat prowess and analyze diverse operational facets.
Frontline bases in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand will be the focal points of this organised exercise, providing a strategic and realistic backdrop for the simulated operations. The culmination of the exercise will involve a thorough analysis of results from the air headquarters, where insights gained from the drills will be reviewed.
A variety of jets, such as air-to-air refuelers, air superiority fighters, interceptors, ground attack and air defence aircraft, will be used in this gigantic exercise. The transport fleet of the IAF will be also actively take part in this wargame.
Notable fighter jets participating in the drill include the Rafale, Su-30MKI, Jaguars, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, and MiG-21 Bisons. This exercise will also involve AWACS )Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems).
Details of the Exercise
As stated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), the exercise is set to take place across various areas of the northern sector, encompassing Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir as well as Punjab. The drills will feature the participation of prominent aircraft fleets such as Rafale, Mirage 2000 and the Su-30MKI.
Beyond the aforementioned fighter jets, the training will also include heavy-lift transport aircraft and helicopters, including Chinooks and Apache, further broadening the scope of the exercise. The esteemed Garud Commando Force unit from the Indian Air Force will also participate in the drills.
According to information revealed by media sources, this exercise is poised to be one of the most substantial air maneuvers conducted by the IAF in recent times. Additionally, it will involve the deployment of vital assets from the Western Air Command alongside resources from other commands, thus making it an extensive and comprehensive training event.
Significantly, the Trishul exercise is unfolding against the backdrop of a prolonged standoff between Indian and Chinese troops, which has endured for over three years. Moreover, it occurs in the context of India’s persistently strained relations with Pakistan.
The exercise is scheduled to coincide with an aerial exercise conducted between China and Pakistan called Shaheen-X. The China-Pakistan joint air force training exercise commenced in late August and will continue until mid-September. This will be the first time when Pakistan Air Force’s J-10 CP fighters will be present during such a type of bilateral engagement.
The G20 Summit
India is hosting this year’s G20 Summit in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Eminent personalities such as heads of state, prime ministers, a crown prince, and other important leaders from the UN will actively participate in the mega event. Strict security measures have been enforced. Amongst the core invitees, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping of China will not attend the meeting and will be sending their foreign ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Li Qiang, respectively.