Amid heightened tensions with Pakistan, the Indian Air Force premier operational command along the western front has gone on high alert. The primary objective of Exercise Talon involving the crucial Western Air Command (WAC) is to improve operational preparedness and air defence in the entire stretch from Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir to Rajasthan, according to defence sources
The exercise also involves camouflaging runways, moving aircraft to blast pens and deploying decoys to prevent or minimise losses during enemy attacks. IAF automated air defence network with a wide variety of radars and date links or the IACCS (integrated air command and control system) is also on a high alert a source told The Times of India.
The Talon exercise will be held till September 30 and seems largely defensive in nature, with combat air patrols and PAD-GD (passive air defence and ground defence) operations. However, the Western Air Command conducted a similar Talon exercise just about a week before the Uri attack on September 18. According to sources, repeating the intensive manoeuvres within the same month was highly unusual and showed that the IAF was leaving nothing to chance at a time when Pakistan F-16s and other fighters have been taking to the skies on a regular basis across the border, apart from practising landing on highways.