The Indian Air Force (IAF) on 27 March successfully de-inducted from the Exercise Desert Flag VI held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-lateral large force employment exercise hosted by the UAE. The sixth edition of the exercise was conducted from 04 Mar to 27 Mar 21 at Al Dhafra Air Base located approximately 32 Km south of Abu Dhabi.
It is the IAF’s maiden participation and it fielded the Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. The drill included participation from six countries, including the UAE, USA, France, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain apart from India participated with aerial assets. Jordan, Greece, Qatar, Egypt and South Korea participated as observer forces.
The objectives of the exercise were to expose coalition participating forces to large force employment, sharpen tactical capabilities, and enhance interoperability along with fostering closer relations between the participating forces. The aim for the participating crew and specialist observers was to expose them to operational environment in scenarios requiring multinational forces working together. Timely and seamless induction and de-induction was facilitated by IAF C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft.
“During the exercise IAF flew Large Force Engagement (LFE) missions in near realistic environment involving many aircraft of varied types. IAF successfully undertook all the planned missions, both by day and night, without any mission abort. All possible assistance was provided by UAE Air Force, ensuring that all planned activities were completed in time,” says the IAF release.
The UAE Air Force has been providing midair refuelling to the Rafale fighters coming to India from France.