Honing Air Combat Skills — Indian Air Force Contingent With Newly Acquired French 'Rafale' Jets Lands In Alaska For Red Flag 2024

Ujjwal Shrotryia

May 31, 2024, 11:58 AM | Updated 11:58 AM IST

Indian Air Force Rafale jets refuelling from IL-78 MKI aerial refuelers enroute to Alaska. (X/ @IAF_MCC)
Indian Air Force Rafale jets refuelling from IL-78 MKI aerial refuelers enroute to Alaska. (X/ @IAF_MCC)

To hone its air combat skills, a contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has landed at the United States Air Force (USAF) Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska to take part in the Red Flag 2024 exercise.

The exercise will continue for two weeks, from 30 May to 14 June, where the participating air forces will hone their tactical flying, planning, and mission execution skills.

Red Flag is a joint multinational exercise held in the United States every year, where numerous air forces from around the world participate and practice various tactical scenarios that test participant's training and skills.

The IAF contingent includes the newly acquired French Rafale fighter jets, C-17 Globemaster-III very heavy lift cargo planes, and IL-78 MKI air refuelers.

The IAF, in a post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), said, “An #IAF contingent arrived today at the Eielson AF Base of @usairforce, at Alaska, USA, to participate in the upcoming edition of the multi-national exercise Red Flag 24.”

The contingent took transit halts in Greece and Portugal for a transatlantic hop to the United States.

The IAF post further said, “Ably supported by its IL-78 air to air refuellers and the C-17 transport ac, the IAF Rafale fighters took a transatlantic flight with staging halts at Greece and Portugal.”

In the two-week exercise, various tactical manoeuvres will be performed with multiple air forces from around the world, including practising with the F-35, the USAF's latest and most advanced fifth-generation fighter.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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