HomeDefense IAF Rafales Make Historic Debut in Exercise Red Flag 24, More Drills...

 IAF Rafales Make Historic Debut in Exercise Red Flag 24, More Drills Ahead with Egypt and Greece

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From June 4 to June 14, 2024, an Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent participated in the Exercise Red Flag 2024, which was held at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and was conducted by the United States Air Force. This was the second iteration of Ex Red Flag 2024, an advanced aerial combat training exercise that the United States Air Force conducts four times annually. In addition to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), the Indian Air Force, the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom, the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), the German Luftwaffe, and the United States Air Force (USAF) participated in the exercise.

Aircrew, technicians, engineers, controllers, and subject matter specialists comprised the IAF contingent that participated with the Rafale aircraft. The IL-78 Air to Air Refuellers (AAR) facilitated the transatlantic ferry of Rafale fighter aircraft, while the C-17 Globemaster aircraft was responsible for the transportation of personnel and cargo. On May 29, the contingent arrived at Eielson, a USAF base in Alaska.

Red Flag is an air combat exercise that is conducted with the intention of creating realistic combat circumstances through the use of multiple scenarios. The desired environment is simulated by a demarcation of forces, with the Red Force simulating Air Defence elements and the Blue Force simulating the Offensive Composite elements. The Red Force was primarily composed of the USAF Aggressor Sqn, which operated the F-16 and F-15 aircraft during this Exercise (Ex).

Indian Air Force Rafales being Refueled by IL-76 Midas Tankers enroute Alaska
Indian Air Force Rafales being Refueled by IL-76 Midas Tankers enroute

The IAF Rafale aircraft participated in Ex Red Flag for the first time, operating alongside the USAF A-10 aircraft, the USAF F-16 and F-15 aircraft, and the RSAF. The missions consisted of Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat exercises in Offensive Counter Air and Air Defence roles, as part of Large Force Engagements (LFE). The IAF crew was actively engaged in mission planning and also served as Mission Leaders for specific missions during the exercise.

The IAF maintenance crew worked diligently to ensure the serviceability of all aircraft throughout the duration of the exercise despite the challenging weather and nearly sub-zero temperatures. All assigned missions were undertaken, and over 100 sorties were flown during the exercise.

Key insights gained from the exercise included a collaborative knowledge of employment philosophy in a multinational environment and an understanding of interoperability with international partners. The younger crew found the experience of ferrying long distances and conducting air-to-air refueling en route to be both exhilarating and enriching.

Frontier India News Network
Frontier India News Networkhttps://frontierindia.com/briefs
Frontier India News Network is the in-house news collection and distribution agency.

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