Rafale showed its power in a real war environment, the valor of the Indian Air Force in Operation Red Flag

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

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 lasted from June 4 to June 14. The Red Flag exercise is an advanced air combat exercise. Squads from Singapore, Britain, Netherlands and German Air Force also participated in it. 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 refueled in the air using IL-78 air to air refueler. Preparations were made to deal with different air threats in the exercise. Rafale practiced there with F-16, F-15A and A-10 aircraft.

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Air Force got big success before Operation Tarang Shakti

The Indian Air Force is now preparing for the war exercise 'Taranga Shakti' to be held in India by the end of this year. This will be the biggest war exercise ever in which many countries will participate. The Air Force has been a part of many multinational exercises but it has never 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, Britain, France, Australia can participate in it.

Rafale roared during Operation Red Flag in Alaska

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

Operation Red Flag creates a real war like environment

Red Flag is an aerial 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 US Aggressor squadrons flying primarily F-16 and F-15 aircraft.

The Indian Air Force led many missions

The exercise included Beyond Visual Range (BVR) warfare drills. The IAF crew actively participated in mission planning and also assumed leadership roles for the assigned 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 assigned missions were successfully accomplished.

Mid-air refueling experience is fun

A major achievement of this military exercise was the insight of inter-operability with international partners. The long distance journey 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 June 24. Enriched with the experience gained 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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