4:00 PM

Indian Air Force planning more exercises

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning a series of exercises in the southern part of the country next year, along the lines of the path breaking exercise 'Dakshin Prahar,' conducted just last week.

According to IAF officials, the Thiruvananthapuram-based Southern Air Command is now in the process of validating concepts that were tested during ex-Dakshin Prahar. These would come in useful for the future, they said.

According to reports, IAF officials say that the southern region of the country had failed to receive the same level of focus that other parts of the country had. The situation in this part of the region is changing rapidly.In the case of the LTTE, this may involve only propeller driven aircraft.

In the case of the Sri Lankan Air Force an expanded force of MiG-27's and more capable helicopters is being backed up by an increasingly sophisticated radar and surveillance system that has dealt some debilitating blows to the LTTE.

For India all these developments are a matter of concern as it has important port facilities located in the region as well as sensitive nuclear facilities. Static facilities of strategic importance apart, the region has been experiencing a thriving guerrilla war in Sri Lanka.