Ex Desert Knight 2021

IAF and FASF Conclude Ex Desert Knight 2021

The Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force participated in Ex Desert Knight  2021 at Air Force Station Jodhpur. A first of its kind bilateral exercise (Ex DK-21), Rafale aircraft from both sides along with Su-30 MKI and Mirage 2000 aircraft of the IAF undertook complex missions including Large Force Engagements. Combat enablers included AWACS, AEW&C aircraft of the IAF as well as A400M and A330 based MRTT (Medium Range Tanker and Transport) aircraft of the FASF. Both Air Forces exercised in realistic settings with an aim to enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. The exercise provided an opportunity to share best practices and evolve operational concepts; particularly for effective combat employment of the Rafale fleet.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat PVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC visited Air Force Station Jodhpur on 21st January 2021 and interacted with participating forces. He also flew on-board the MRTT along with Maj Gen Laurent Lherbette, the FASF contingent leader where he was given an overview on conduct of the exercise and witnessed air-to-air refuelling operations by IAF & FASF fighters.

On 23rd January 2021, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC visited Air Force Station Jodhpur along with the Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain. The Distinguished Visitors were received by Air Marshal SK Ghotia PVSM VSM AOC-in-C SWAC. CAS interacted with members of IAF and FASF contingents. He expressed his appreciation on the complexity of operations conducted and interoperability achieved by participants within a short span of 4 days. He also commended the planning, operational and maintenance staff from both sides for smooth and safe conduct of the exercise. CAS wished the FASF contingent the very best for the next phase of their Skyros deployment.

Exercise Desert Flag-VI

Exercise Desert Flag-VI

Exercise Desert Flag –VI successfully culminated with de-induction of the Indian contingent from UAE. Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-lateral large force employment exercise hosted by UAE. The sixth edition of the exercise was conducted from 04 Mar to 27 Mar 21 at Air Force Base Al Dhafra, UAE.

IAF participated in the exercise for the first time, fielding Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. Six countries; UAE, USA, France, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain apart from India participated with aerial assets. Jordan, Greece, Qatar, Egypt and South Korea participated as observer forces.

The objectives for the exercise were to expose coalition participating forces to large force employment, sharpen tactical capabilities, and enhance interoperability along with fostering closer relations between the participating forces. The aim for the participating crew and specialist observers was to expose them to operational environment in scenarios requiring multinational forces working together. Timely and seamless induction and de-induction was facilitated by IAF C-17 Globe master aircraft.

During the exercise IAF flew Large Force Engagement (LFE) missions in near realistic environment involving many aircraft of varied types. IAF successfully undertook all the planned missions, both by day and night, without any mission abort.  All possible assistance was provided by UAE Air Force ensuring that all planned activities were completed in time.

IAF has been actively participating in operational international exercises, wherein collaborative engagements are enhanced. A multinational Exercise in UAE with friendly forces afforded a unique opportunity to gain valuable learning to all the participating forces. The knowledge gained, lessons learnt and bonds made during the course of Ex Desert Flag-VI will go a long way in bolstering professional capabilities of the participating forces.

Exercise Aviaindra-18


The second edition of Exercise Aviaindra, a Biennial Air Force level exercise between Indian and the Russian Federation, was conducted from 17 Sep 18 to 28 Sep 18. The aim of the exercise was to formulate and validate use of airpower in anti-terrorist operations in a bilateral scenario.
The exercise which was conducted at Lipetsk, Russia began with interaction of the Indian contingent with their Russian counterparts. The aim of the exercise was to learn best practices from one another and it also includes simulator training. The exercise included briefing on Aerospace safety and anti-terrorist air operations.

Joint Military Training 2012


Exercise JMT-12, with Republic of Singapore AF, was conducted from 22 Oct 12 to 30 Nov 12 at AF Stn Kalaikunda. During the JMT-12 the RSAF detachment mostly carried out unilateral flying except for a three day exercise with Su-30 MKi ac of 2 Sqn. Lt Col Lim Kok Hong, CO 145 Sqn. RSAF was the Det Cdr of the RSAF contingent.

Vayu Shakti


Pokhran range near Jaisalmer reverberated with thunderous explosions and applause when the Indian Air Force put on a well orchestrated and enthralling display of its operational capabilities on 16 Feb 19, in the presence of numerous guests that included Chairman, Armed Forces Tribunal, Justice Virender Singh and the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat PVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM VM ADC Chief of the Air Staff, arrived directly at Pokhran by a C-130 J Hercules aircraft which displayed its short field landing capabilities. The Chief of the Air Staff was received by Air Marshal HS Arora AVSM Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) South Western Air Command.
The Arrival was followed by the release of a Coffee Table book titled '1971 Indo-Pak War: An Aerial Account'.
As a precursor to the Fire Power Display, three Mi-17 helicopters, flying the National Flag, Air Force ensign and the South Western Air Command ensign, flew past the grandstand. These were followed by a Jaguar aircraft at low level taking images of the grand stand and an exciting supersonic run by a Mig-29 fighter aircraft, which left a loud sonic boom in its wake.
The Chief of the Air Staff, in his opening address, gave an overview of the display and assured the nation of the Indian Air Force’s commitment to national defence and of its capability to thwart any external aggression.

During the Fire Power Display, various simulated enemy targets on ground and in air were targeted and destroyed employing a variety of missiles, precision guided munitions, unguided bombs and rockets by various fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force that included the Su-30, Mig-27, Mig-29 upgrade, LCA-Tejas, Mirage-2000, Mig-21 Bison and Hawk and also the weaponized version of the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter. Of special note were the precision strikes to destroy Transporter Erector Launchers of enemy surface-to-surface missiles and the swing role capability of the indigenously built Tejas aircraft demonstrated through destruction of an aerial target with a missile and then a ground target with bombs, in the same sortie.
The setting sun was the harbinger of special heliborne operations that included Bambi bucket ops to put out large fires, and troop insertion by low hover jump and rappelling. Garud Special Forces thereafter gave a scintillating display of anti-insurgency operations in an urban area.
This was followed by a flypast by the Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft, which concluded the day segment of the display.
As dusk fell, the desertscape witnessed paradrop of Garud Special Forces on to the venue from an An-32 aircraft flying high above.
During a short break, the Air Warrior Symphony Orchestra (AWSO) enthralled the audience with its catchy musical performance.
As night descended, the indigenous Surface-to-Air Guided weapon: the Akash missile, knocked out a target flying in the sky above. This was followed by Mi-17V5 and Mi-35 helicopters raining rockets on simulated enemy targets. Su-30, Jaguar and Mig-27 upgrade aircraft resumed operations and destroyed the remaining targets with accuracy, displaying the IAF’s operational capability by night. The demonstration was capped with a scintillating display of flare dispensation by an An-32 and a C-130J Hercules aircraft that lit up the night sky.
The CAS complimented all the participating Air Warriors for having put up an impressive demonstration.

Exercise Eastern Bridge 2011


Indo-Oman exercise Eastern Bridge-II (2011) second of the series was conducted at Air Force Station Jamnagar from 17 Oct - 21 Oct 11. The previous edition of this exercise was held between the two Air Forces at Thumrait, Oman in 2009. RAFO participated with 6xJag and approximately 110 personnel in the exercise. It was the first time RAFO Jaguars have participated in a joint exercise in India. IAF participated with local Jaguar and Mig-29 Squadrons at Air Force Station Jamnagar.
The exercise has not only enriched the IAF and RAFO professionally but also culturally. The Omani people and Indians share a similar culture. The exercise provided an opportunity for fruitful interaction between the personnel of both countries.

Exercise Indradhanush 2010


Indo-UK fighter exercise was successfully conducted at 5 Wing from 18 Oct to 03 Nov 10. This was the first exercise with the Eurofighter (Typhoon) in India. The exercise included Typhoon, E-3D operating from KKD and VC-10 operating from Kolkata. This was also the first International exercise where Indian AWACS was utilised for controlling missions. Joint planning was carried out by the IAF and the RAF, and a scenario was created for conduct of the missions.

Exercises - Red Flag Aug 08


The Indian Air Force participated in a multinational Air Exercise, 'Ex - Red Flag 08' at the invitation of the United States Air Force (USAF), held at Nellis Air Force Base in the US from 09-23 Aug 08.
The Red Flag 08 had the participation of IAF with eight Su-30s, two IL-78 tankers, an IL-76 aircraft & 247 Air Warriors along with the French Air Force with Rafale, South Korean Air Force with F-15s & US AF with F-15s & F-16s. IAF & other visiting Air Forces along with a large USAF element were part of the Blue Forces (friendly) which would engage in combat with the Red Forces. The Red Forces were the "Aggressors" with F-15s & F-16s aircraft of 64th & 65th Aggressor squadrons of USAF based at Air Force Base Nellis.

Exercise Sindex 2007


IAF-RSAF Exercise Sindex-07 was conducted at AF Stn Kalaikunda from 23 Nov 07 - 13 Dec 07. The aim of the exercise was to facilitate own training of RSAF from Kalakunda before joint/ integrated part of exercise with MiG-27 ac of 18 Sqn AF with an objective to enhance mutual operational understanding between IAF and RSAF. IAF participated with 06xMig-27 and THD 1955(62 SU,AF) and RSAF participated with 06xF-5, 02xRBS-70 FU, 01xMISTRAL(FU) and 01xPSTAR
Sindex-07 offered close interaction between the Aircrew and controllers of IAF and RSAF , 18 Sqn and 62 SU greatly benefited from the exercise especially due to the presence of the GBAD element of the RSAF.