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Play fighter pilot, on IAF app

- BID to lure Youngsters through mobile game

New Delhi, June 16: The Indian Air Force, in a new attempt to lure bright young people, will soon release a mobile gaming application that allows users to pretend they’re fighter pilots on sophisticated combat missions.

The game, developed by Disha, the IAF’s publicity division for officers’ induction, and Threye Inc, a game designing company, will feature the Sukhoi-30, the Mi-17 helicopter and air force transport aircraft.

“The idea is to immerse the players into combat-like scenarios through flying missions,” said Wing Commander Pooja Thakur with Disha, IAF’s division mainly engaged in developing publicity material — from television advertisements to street-corner hoardings — to get school and college students into thinking of careers in the air force.

The game, called Guardians of the Sky, will be available for free download from July 3 from a website offering mobile game applications for android, IOS and Windows platforms, the IAF said, announcing the game today.

The July version will offer training missions and two operational missions, including one in which players can pretend they have to provide air cover to protect ships from pirates in India’s exclusive economic zone.

The second version to be released in October this year will offer eight operational missions, some of them against enemy forces in a fictional neighbourhood called Zarusia. In one such mission, the aircraft has to track and destroy a Zarusian submarine attacking Bombay High oil fields.

“We believe this is the first-ever mobile gaming application to have been commissioned by an air force anywhere,” said Anurag Rana, vice president of Threye Inc, which had earlier developed a mobile game application that offers players to imagine they’re flying Mirage-2000 fighter jets into an enemy country for bombing missions.

Threye’s creative director is a former squadron leader, Sameer Joshi, who had flown MiG 21s during the Kargil campaign in 1999, but currently flies private aircraft. He conceptualises missions and introduces realistic elements in the aircraft’s flight parameters.

The IAF says the game’s target group is people between 14 to 18 years of age. Students aspiring for careers in the Indian Air Force can take the National Defence Academy entrance exam in 12th standard or try to enter other short or permanent commissioned posts after graduation or even post-graduation.