Saturday , July 13 2024

Indian Air Force flew more than 100 sorties in aerial combat exercise 'Red Flag'

New Delhi, June 16 (HS). The Indian Air Force has participated in the air combat training exercise 'Red Flag' at Air Force Base, Alaska with the air forces of Singapore, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and the US. This was the second edition of the exercise, which the US Air Force conducts four times a year. Despite challenging weather and almost sub-zero temperatures, the Indian Air Force completed all the scheduled missions by flying more than 100 flights during the entire exercise. Before returning to India, the contingent will participate in exercises with the air forces of Greece and Egypt on June 24.

The exercise was conducted from 04 to 14 June at the United States Air Force Air Base Eielson and saw participation of the Indian Air Force as well as the Republic of Singapore Air Force, Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom, Royal Netherlands Air Force, German Luftwaffe and US Air Force. The Indian Air Force contingent participated with Rafale aircraft and personnel, comprising air crew, technicians, engineers, controllers and subject matter experts. The Indian contingent landed at USAF Base, Eielson in Alaska on 29 May. The Rafale fighter aircraft were enabled by IL-78 air to air refuellers, while the personnel and equipment were transported by transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster.

This was the first time that India's Rafale aircraft participated in Exercise 'Red Flag' along with Singaporean and US aircraft F-16, F-15 and A-10. These missions included Beyond Visual Range combat exercises as a part of Large Force Engagement in offensive counter air and air defence roles. IAF crews were actively involved in mission planning and also played the role of Mission Leader for the assigned missions during the exercise.

The exercise included insights on interoperability with international partners and collaborative understanding in a multinational environment. The experience of flying long distances and air-to-air refuelling en route was a thrilling experience for the young crew. The contingent will participate in exercises with the Air Forces of Greece and Egypt on 24 June before returning to India. Enriched with the experience of Exercise Red Flag, the Indian Air Force is looking forward to hosting participating contingents from other countries during Exercise 'Tarang Shakti-2024', the first Indian multinational air exercise scheduled to be held later this year.