IAF Trials Emergency Landing Strip With 5 Helicopters on Jammu-Srinagar Highway

Srinagar: The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted its first Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) drill in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. This exercise marks a significant milestone, making Jammu and Kashmir the first Union Territory to operationalize an ELF.

The drill involved the landing of five IAF helicopters, including the recently inducted, heavy-lift Chinook helicopters manufactured by the United States. Two Chinooks, along with a Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter and two indigenously developed Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), participated in the exercise.

The pre-dawn operation saw the helicopters land on a designated 3.5-kilometer stretch on the strategically important Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. The drill simulated troop deployment and casualty evacuation, showcasing the IAF’s capabilities in critical situations. The entire exercise concluded successfully by 2:50 am, highlighting the seamless coordination between the IAF and civil agencies.

This development is part of a larger initiative between the IAF and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to establish a network of ELFs across India. These designated landing strips on national highways provide crucial airbases in times of emergencies or natural disasters, ensuring faster response times and improved rescue efforts.

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