IAF chief in Colombo on a visit coinciding with 70th anniversary of Sri Lankan Air Force
The Indian Air Force is for the first time participating in the annual multinational large force employment warfare exercise, Desert Flag VI, hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force which began on Wednesday.
Separately, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria arrived in Colombo on a two-day visit coinciding with the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lankan Air Force.
The air show at Galle Face in Colombo will see the participation of an IAF contingent comprising Suryakiran aerobatic team, Sarang helicopter display teams and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The other countries taking part in the exercise scheduled from March 3 to 27 include Bahrain, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the U.S.
“The IAF is participating with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft. C-17 Globemaster will provide support for induction and de-induction of the IAF contingent,” an IAF statement said. Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake long range ferry, routing direct from India to the exercise area with aerial refuelling support from IL-78 tanker aircraft, it stated.
The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces while training them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment.
Stating that the large-scale exercise involving diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe will provide the participating forces a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience, enhance operational capabilities and interoperability, the IAF added that exercising and interaction with the participating nations in a dynamic and realistic warfare environment would also contribute to strengthening international relations.