Four Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft of the Indian Air Force will be taking part in the US Red Flag air exercise, held from 28 April to 13 May in Alaska.
The Sukhois along with four Jaguars, two C-17 Globemaster III transport planes and two mid-air refuellers Ilyushin-78—will travel through Bahrain, Egypt, France, Portugal and Canada before finally reaching Alaska this month.
“The personnel have now assembled at Jamnagar air base where they will undergo some training schedule. Advance party will leave shortly and the rest would join them later in the US,” an IAF official told PTI.
This is the second time that India is participating in such an exercise after 2008. Due to high costs, the IAF had decided to take part in the exercise once every five years. It was scheduled to take part in the 2013 edition but the exercise was cancelled by the US following budget cuts.
According to an estimate, it will cost India over INR 100 crore. It will also see over 150 IAF personnel in action. “Crawl, walk and run” is the term used for the format of deployment for systematically increasing pace and scope of the exercise and combat moves during Red Flag.
The Red Flag would be the most complex aerial war game involving forces from India and the US that will also see airborne early warning and control system (awac) aircraft from NATO forces in action.