As the Indian Air Force’s touchdown exercise is underway at the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari sought to know the “larger purpose” of the IAF drill. “Does this IAF drill have a larger/higher/greater object/purpose as articulated by Air Chief recently? Or is IAF testing strength of highways,” Tewari tweeted.
As part of a major touchdown exercise by the IAF, 17 aircraft, including C-130 Hercules, will land on the expressway. Garud commandos dropped by the C-130 will cordon off the strip for fighter operations following which fighter jets will follow the touch and go manoeuvres. Finally, a C-130 will again return to extricate the Garud commandos.
According to officials, the two-hour Indian Air Force drill is meant to train IAF fighters and personnel in dealing with emergency situations such as an aerial attack or destruction of base which would require immediate touch down and take off from other places.
Recently officials of the Union Road and Transport Ministry had said that the government has cleared 12 highways for emergency landing operations for disaster relief, humanitarian assistance or in a conflict/war scenario.