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President, PM to witness IAF's firepower display

Posted on Feb 22, 03:11PM | IANS

Jaisalmer, Feb 22 : President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Mamohan Singh would be among the top dignitaries who will witness the Indian Air Force's (IAF) largest "day-dusk-night" firepower demonstration in the Rajasthan desert Friday.

Some of the other luminaries include Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne and defence attaches of various countries.

Former defence minister Jaswant Singh is also likely to be present at the event, officials said.

Exercise "Iron Fist" at the Pokhran ranges will see the participation of 230 aircraft, including the Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Mirage-2000, Jaguar, MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29 and the Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT).

Also seen will be the C130J Super Hercules and AN-32 transporters, the Mi-8 and Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters and the Mi-35 attack helicopters.

It's not often that the prime minister visits an event when parliament is in session and the fact that he planned to grace the occasion left the defence officials overjoyed.

"It is an honour that the president and the prime minister will be here," said a senior IAF official requesting anonymity.