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IAF activating highway landing facility to enhance operational capabilities of armed forces

Chinook helicopter near Amarnath cave-

As part of the ongoing exercise Gagan Shakti-24, Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft recently operated from the Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) in the northern sector in Kashmir valley, said a defence ministry spokesman today.

A large number of troops were airlifted and subsequently air landed utilising Chinook, Mi-17 V5 and ALH Mk-III helicopters by night, the spokesman said.

IAF also plans to practise similar drills in coordination with administration of State Governments for activation of ELFs in other sectors.

Various IAF fixed and rotary wing platforms will carry out coordinated landing and operations at these ELF, requiring good planning and coordination with civil administration employing Whole-of-the-Nation-Approach (WNA).

ELF operations provide an opportunity for IAF aircraft to undertake operations from such restricted landing surfaces while also being able to undertake Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Relief operations during times of natural calamities to provide succour and relief.

The capability to operate by night at these stretches of highways, and the capability to transfer troops from such surfaces will greatly enhance the operational capabilities of Indian Armed Forces, he added.

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