To Boost International Co-operation & Operational Preparedness of IAF
NEW DELHI: UAE Air Force is holding exercise ‘Desert Flag’ from March 3 to 21 at the Al-Dhafra airbase in the Gulf region. India is participating in the exercise for the first time along with the air forces of the UAE, US, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain. It is a three week long exercise which will be coordinated by the air warfare centre which is located at the Al Dhafra air base in United Arab Emirates.
Indian Air Force is taking part in the event with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft. Two C-17s fighters of the IAF would also be joining the Indian team for the exercise in order to help in induction and de-induction. The Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake a long-range ferry, routing directly from India to the exercise area with aerial refuelling support from the IL-78 tanker aircraft.
According to a report, the joint exercise will witness the entire range of offensive and defensive operations with force-enhancers like AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) and flight-refuelling aircraft in a realistic combat setting.
Commenting on the development an IAF official said, “Participation in the exercise will go a long way in providing operational exposure to the participating forces and train them to carry out simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment.” “The aim of ongoing exercise ‘Desert Flag’ is to provide a platform for mutual exchange of best practices and offer an excellent prospect to participating forces to increase their operational capabilities,” he added. Participation of IAF in Desert Flag VI, comes close on the heels after successful involvement in the American ‘Red Flag’ in 2016, the Israeli ‘Blue Flag’ in 2017 and the Australian ‘Pitch Black’ wargames in 2018.