IAF-RAF drill begins

Warbirds of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) took off on Wednesday to match skills against each other in the joint exercise Indradhanush (Rainbow) at IAF Kalaikunda, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

An RAF Eurofighter Typhoon taking off from IAF Kalaikunda.

Warbirds of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) took off on Wednesday to match skills against each other in the joint exercise Indradhanush (Rainbow) at IAF Kalaikunda, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

The first two days of the exercise, which began on Monday, were spent on ‘elaborate briefings on standard operating procedures, rules of exercise and familiarization of the local flying area’, according to a dispatch sent by the Chief Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Defense in Kolkata, Wing Commander Mahesh Upasani.

Air Marshal LK Malhotra and Group Captain John Hitchcock of the RAF.

The RAF has brought to play its Eurofighter Typoons, the E-3D Sentry and the VC-10 mid air refueller, while the IAF has fielded its Sukhoi-30 MKIs, Mirage 2000s, MiG-27s and its IL-76 AWACS, for the first time.

All assets and crew will alternately play blue team and red team, with the blues defending. “The degree of difficulty during the exercise missions is increased by random denial of mid-air refueling and radar silence etc,” wrote Upasani.

Air Marshal LK Malhotra of the Eastern Air Command said, “Apart from the pilots flying these missions, it is an excellent opportunity for the controllers who would be either controlling these missions or will be on board AWACS aircraft as observers. On the technical side too, there will be a number of areas where both the sides can learn from each others maintenance practices, procedures and management of resources with a view to support flying operations.”

Indradhanush concludes on 03 November, 2010.

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