The Indian Air Force (IAF) has unveiled plans to conduct a military exercise, code-named Iron Fist 2016, at Pokhran in the Indian state Rajasthan’s Thar Desert on 18 March.

The exercise, which will involve the participation of 181 aircraft departing from multiple bases, is aimed at demonstrating the combat and fire power of the IAF.

During the exercise, the operational capabilities of the IAF will be on display with ‘focus on the concept of all weather, network centric operations, precision weapon delivery and ability to deliver lethal firepower’.

"The exercise shall showcase the journey of the IAF’s transformation over the years and cover its glorious history"

A statement posted on the Indian Government’s Press Information Bureau read: "This exercise holds special significance as it represents the lethal face of the Indian Air Force in its pre-eminent role as the cutting edge of our nation’s military capability.

"The exercise shall showcase the journey of the IAF’s transformation over the years and cover its glorious history."

During the exercise, the multifaceted nature of the IAF will be highlighted through aerobatic displays by modern combat aircraft such as the Su-30 MKI, Sarang and the Surya Kiran Aerobatic team.

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Additionally, the exercise will include live demonstration by IAF Garuds and special heliborne operations.

The exercise is expected to display the IAF’s growth and will ‘showcase its combat capability over the entire spectrum of aerial operations’.

India had hosted a similar exercise in 2013.