Tri-service firepower, manoeuvre exercise ‘Bharat Shakti’ begins in Pokhran

The mega ‘Bharat Shakti’ exercise to demonstrate the prowess of indigenously manufactured defence equipment of the three defence services of India began in Rajasthan’s Pokhran firing range on Tuesday.

It was attended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Chief General Manoj Pande.

The exercise was held for about 50 minutes.

LCA Tejas, ALH Mk-IV, LCH Prachand, mobile anti-drone system, BMP-II and its variants, NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier), T90 tanks, Dhanush, K9 Vajra and Pinaka rockets are among the platforms that are being demonstrated at Pokhran, about 100 km from Jaisalmer city.

“Synergised joint operations will be decisive in the Indian context. Through live firepower and manoeuvre demonstration, it is endeavoured to showcase the tri-services operational capabilities to counter any threat leveraging indigenous capability and the ability to undertake conflicts in the face of global upheavals,” Additional Director General, Army Design Bureau, Major General C S Mann had earlier said.

The first-of-its-kind exercise on such a scale is “not tailored towards any direction (northern or western border) or any adversaries”, sources in the defence establishment said.

“In a clear indication of India’s readiness to confront and overcome contemporary and future challenges with home-grown solutions, ‘Bharat Shakti’ highlights resilience, innovation and strength of India’s domestic defence capabilities on the global stage,” the Prime Minister’s Office said on Sunday.

“The programme exemplifies the nation’s strong strides towards ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, by showcasing the might and operational prowess of the Indian armed forces and the ingenuity and commitment of the indigenous defence industry,” it said.