IAF set for first-ever drill in strategic Persian Gulf region

In the first such endeavour in the strategically-located Persian Gulf region, India is all set to take part in a major multi-nation air combat exercise in the United Arab Emirates with fighter jets and heavy-duty airlift aircraft this month. The Indian Air Force is good to go to participate in the worldwide exercise Desert Flag alongside France and the United States in the United Arab Emirates.

The IAF on Wednesday will dispatch six Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, two C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft and around 125 personnel for the high-voltage “Desert Flag” exercise, which will see participation of air forces from the US, France, South Korea, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Six IAF Su-30-MKI contenders will take off for the United Arab Emirates on March 3, 2021 to take part in the global exercise. IAF’s two C-17s will likewise join the Indian group for the activity to assist them with enlisting and deinduct from that point. The exercise will see the entire gamut of offensive and defensive operations with force-enhancers like AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) and flight-refuelling aircraft in a realistic combat setting.

This will be the fourth time IAF will participate in such a multilateral exercise in the last five years, after the American ‘Red Flag’ in 2016, the Israeli ‘Blue Flag’ in 2017 and the Australian ‘Pitch Black’ wargames in 2018.