As Sudarshan Shakti gradually approaches its peak, thousands of soldiers are readying themselves to perform manoeuvres in tanks and fighter jets to showcase the final phase of the desert sector exercise before President Pratibha Patil on December 5.

Some 50,000 troops, along with T-90, T-72, Arjun Tanks and BMP fighting vehicles, will carry out simulated assaults on their objectives, with the artillery and the Air Force providing support in the endeavour, the test bed for the Integrated Theatre Concept.

The exercise is seen as a trendsetter as the Army is transforming itself into a more agile, versatile, lethal and network-centric force. “It “will be a trendsetter for the Integrated Theatre Concept and we will be trying out new structures, strategic and test beds for an integrated seamless air and land battle,” Army officials said here.

Sudarshan Shakti, a joint exercise of the Southern Army and the South Western Air Command, entered a crucial phase as it gradually stepped up the deployment structured to build on from the smallest unit upwards to the entire Southern Army in a simulated battlefield environment.