Royal Air Force and Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft and personnel were trained together in a major airpower exercise in the UK…reports Asian Lite News
For Exercise Indradanush the IAF has flown fighter, transport and tanker aircraft across three continents to train with their RAF counterparts. Designed to reinforce the strategic relationship and enhance the mutual operational understanding between the two air forces, pilots and ground forces from both nations are participating in a series of increasingly complex training scenarios.
The visiting IAF personnel are commanded by Group Captain Astiu. He said: “Every Air Force has got some plusses and some minuses. We are here to take plusses from the Royal Air Force and we expect they will take a lot of plusses from our side. We are complimenting each other and as far as the Indian contingent is concerned it is action packed and we are enjoying it.”
The IAF Exercise Director is Wing Commander Joarder who said:“We deployed in a very efficient and smooth manner. We took off from India on 15 July and within two days we were here in the UK after crossing three continents without any incidents. “This is a good way to exchange our experience, share our thoughts and go ahead with working together as a team. The IAF used to be the Royal Indian Air Force so we have a lot of commonality in terms of structure, organisation and training. Aviation is not in itself very different, so we also have similar missions, concepts, strategies and tactics as the RAF. So we gain tremendously when we share our experiences together.”
RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire is hosting four Su-30MKI Flanker fighters who are training with the Typhoon FGR4 equipped 3(Fighter) Squadron. Officer Commanding 3(F) Sqn RAF is Wing Commander Chris Moon: “This is an exciting exercise for us. In the Typhoon Force we deploy around the world on various exercises so to have an Air Force as respected as the IAF with their Su-30 Flankers is a huge experience for us and we’re really enjoying flying with them.
The IAF transport aircraft, a C-17 and C-130J, and Il-78 air-refuelling tanker are training with their RAF counterparts at RAF Brize Norton near Oxford. The ground element of the exercise is centred on RAF Honington in East Anglia where IAF Garud Commandos are working with their RAF Regiment counterparts including a series of parachute jumps from both nations’ Hercules tactical transport aircraft.