Air defence shield activated for Pranab’s swearing-in

SA-8 Gecko (Osa-AK)

Taking all precautionary measures during the swearing in ceremony of President Pranab Mukherjee, the IAF on Wednesday activated its air defence shield in and around the capital to thwart any threat to the event. The air defence network comprising IAF aircraft, man-held air defence missiles, OSA-AK and Pechora air defence missiles were put in place during the entire ceremony, held in the central hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan in New delhi, officials said.

Such security cover is provided during all major events including the Independence Day and Republic Day and was also in place during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, they said, denying any specific threat to the occasion.

The President is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.

Along with the air defence weapons such as the Pechora and OSA-AK surface-to-air missile squadrons deployed in the NCR, fighter jets like Sukhoi-30MKIs and MiG-21 `Bisons’ were put on a stand-by at nearby airbases, the officials said.

To further secure the skies over the capital, the airspace was closed for non-scheduled operators from 9 am to 2 pm, they said.

However, commercial flights or the scheduled operators were operating normally, they said.

HT 25JUL12

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