Indian Air Force to participate in Red Flag exercise

Apr 5, 2016 13:01 IST

Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in Red Flag air exercise along with US, NATO and allied forces that are scheduled to be conducted from 28 April to 13 May 2016 in Alaska.

The exercise will see participation of 12 IAF aircraft including the Russian origin Su30 MKI, deep penetration Jaguars, two C17 transport plans and two mid air refuellers IL 78. Before reaching Alaska, the AIF aircrafts will travel through Bahrain, Egypt, France, Portugal and Canada.

It will also see over 150 IAF personnel in action, who will undergo some training before being sent to Alaska. According to an estimate, it will cost India over 100 crore rupees.

This is the second time that India is participating in such an exercise after 2008. Due to high cost of participation, IAF decided to take part in the exercise once in every five year. Earlier, the participation in the exercise was scheduled in 2013 but the plan was cancelled by the US following budget cuts.

Red Flag Air Exercises

The Red Flag exercises, held periodically at the Nellis Air Force Base since 1975, is advanced aerial combat training exercise. Red Flag – Alaska is a successor to the previous COPE THUNDER exercise series in the Western Pacific and Alaska.

Since 1975, air crews from the United States Air Force (USAF), United States Navy (USN), United States Marine Corps (USMC), United States Army (USA) and numerous NATO or other allied nations' air forces take part in one of several Red Flag exercises held during the year, each of which is two weeks in duration.

The exercise provides an opportunity to practice and refine their skills for real combat situations to the pilots from the US, NATO and other allied. This includes the use of enemy hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises within the Nellis complex.

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