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Sunday, July 14th, 2024

Rafale showed its power in a real war environment, Indian Air Force’s brilliance in Operation Red Flag

New Delhi: A squad of the Indian Air Force took part in the ‘Red Flag’ exercise at the US Air Force base in Alaska. This exercise went on from June 4 to June 14. The Red Flag exercise is an advanced aerial combat exercise. It also had squads from Singapore, Britain, Netherlands, and German Air Force. For the first time, a squad of the Indian Air Force reached this exercise with the fighter jet Rafale. To take it there, it was also refueled mid-air using the IL-78 air to air refueler. In the exercise, preparations were made to deal with different aerial threats. Rafale maneuvered there with F-16, F-15A, and A-10 aircraft.

Air Force gets big boost before Operation Tarang Shakti

The Indian Air Force is now preparing for the exercise ‘Taranga Shakti’ which will be held in India by the end of this year. This will be the biggest war exercise till date in which many countries will participate. The Air Force has been a part of many multinational exercises but it has not hosted any multinational exercise (active participation) till date. This will be the first time that the Air Force will host a joint exercise involving fighter aircraft of the air forces of many countries. Countries like America, UK, France, Australia can participate in it.

Rafael roared during Operation Red Flag held in Alaska

Exercise Red Flag, held at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, was the second edition of the year 2024. It is an advanced air combat training exercise. The Ministry of Defense said on Sunday, ‘The Indian Air Force contingent participated with Rafale aircraft and personnel consisting of Air Force crews, technicians, engineers, controllers and subject experts. The transatlantic flight of Rafale fighter jets was made possible by the Air to Air Refueler (AAR) of IL-78. Transportation of personnel and equipment was done by C-17 Globemaster aircraft.’ This contingent of the Indian Air Force reached Eielson Base in Alaska on 29 May 2024.

In Operation Red Flag, an atmosphere similar to that of a real war is created

Red Flag is an air combat exercise conducted with multiple scenarios designed to provide realistic warlike conditions. Forces are demarcated to create the desired environment. The Red Force is responsible for air defence and the Blue Force conducts aggression. During this exercise, the Red Force was formed by the US Aggressor Squadron flying primarily F-16 and F-15 aircraft.

Indian Air Force led many missions

The exercise involved Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat drills. The IAF crew actively participated in mission planning and also assumed leadership roles for the designated missions during the exercise. Despite challenging weather and near sub-zero temperatures, the IAF maintenance crew worked diligently to ensure serviceability of all aircraft during the exercise. More than 100 sorties were flown during the exercise and all the designated missions were successfully accomplished.

The experience of refueling in the air is fun

One of the key achievements of this military exercise was the insight into inter-operability with international partners. The experience of travelling long distances and air-to-air refuelling en route was an enriching and thrilling experience, especially for the young crew. The Indian contingent plans to participate in exercises with the air forces of Greece and Egypt before returning to India on 24 June. Rich in experience from the Red Flag Exercise, the Indian Air Force is excited to host participating contingents from other countries during Exercise Tarang Shakti 2024.

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