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 the 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 directly from India to the exercise area with aerial refueling 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.