Flying exercise missions of Indo-UK Air Exercise Indradhanush began today at Air Force Station Kalaikunda in East India. The Royal Air Force is participating with Eurofighter Typhoons, an E-3D Sentry AWACS, and a VC-10 mid air refueller, while the IAF is fielding the Su-30MKIs, Mirage-2000s, MiG-27s and an A-50I Phalcon AWACS (for the first time in a joint air exercise).
These assets will be combined along with the aircrew and then divided into the blue and red forces. The red forces are the agressors while blue forces are the defending side. The roles of the participants are changed through out the exercise. The degree of difficulty during the exercise missions is increased by random denial of mid air refueling, and radar silence etc. The major highlight of the exercise is the large number of aircraft operating together and against each other in limited time and space putting the skills of the pilots and the fighter controllers to test.
Air Marshal L K Malhotra of the Eastern Air Command met the participants and addressed them today. In his address he 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 maintainance practices, procedures and management of resources with a view to support flying operations”.