“Desert Flag”: IAF Set To Partake In Its Maiden Multi-Nation Air Combat Exercise In Strategic Persian Gulf Region

by Swarajya Staff - Mar 2, 2021 10:04 AM +05:30 IST
“Desert Flag”: IAF Set To Partake In Its Maiden Multi-Nation Air Combat Exercise In  Strategic Persian Gulf RegionSukhoi Su-30 MKI of the Indian Air Force (Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In a major development, the Indian Air force is set to partake in the high-voltage "Desert Flag" exercise involving the United States (US), France, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

This gains significance as it would mark the first instance of India taking part in a major multi-national air combat exercise in the strategically-located Persian Gulf region. The exercise will be held in the UAE and involve fighter jets and heavy-duty airlift aircraft of different kinds, reports Times of India.

For the exercise, the Indian Air force (IAF) will be sending a contingent of 125 persons with six Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets and two C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft.

It should be noted that the fighter jet platforms participating in the exercise include Russian Sukhois, American F-15s and F-16s, and French Dassault Rafales and Mirage-2000s.

The three-week-long exercise would be coordinated by the air warfare centre at the Al Dhafra airbase in the UAE. The exercise would also involve Greece, Jordan, Kuwait and Egypt as observers.

It should also be noted that this would mark the fourth instance when IAF would be participating in such a multilateral exercise in the last five years after the American "Red Flag" in 2016, Israeli "Blue Flag" in 2017 and the Australian "Pitch Black" wargames in 2018.

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