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IAF, British Royal Air Force wargames from October 18

 IL-76 aircraft, mounted with Airborne Warning and Control System, flanked by two fighter planes during the 61st Republic Day function in New Delhi on January 26, 2010. IAF will field its AWACS aircraft during wargames with the British RAF beginning October 18.

Indian Air Force’s frontline Su-30 MKI fighter jets will engage the Eurofighter Typhoons of the British Royal Air Force during the 17-day wargames codenamed ‘Ex-Indradhanush’ at Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal starting October 18.

This will be the first time when IAF’s AWACS will fly in a joint air exercise with any country.

During the exercise, the IAF will field its aircraft such as the Su-30 MKI, Mirage 2000s, MiG-27s and the Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft.

The RAF would also be deploying its AWACS (E-3D) and Air to Air refuellers (VC-10) along with its Typhoons.

The Typhoon is also one of the contenders for IAF’s deal for 126 multi-role combat aircraft along with five other companies.

The aim of this joint exercise is to enhance mutual understanding and refine procedures for future joint exercise between the two Air Forces, IAF officials said here.

Commenting on the exercise, Eastern Air Commander Air Marshal K.K. Nohwar said, “the exercise is an opportunity for both the Air Forces to get an insight into each other’s operational philosophies and work cultures.”

“This will greatly enhance the understanding of our Air Force to operate in scenario involving state of the art technologies,” he added.

During the exercise, the IAF will lay special emphasis on exposing its aircrew and controllers to missions like large force engagements and protection of high-value aerial assets roles routinely undertaken by RAF as apart of expeditionary force deployment around the globe, officials said.

In the recent past, the IAF has been increasingly participating in joint aerial exercises with countries such as the U.S., France, South Africa and Oman.

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