New Delhi: Air forces of India and Oman are currently undertaking a mega drill in a strategically located island in the Arabian sea with a broad aim of increasing bilateral military cooperation.

The 10-day ''Eastern Bridge'' exercise began on October 17 at Masirah island off the east coast of mainland Oman and both air forces have deployed a number of major platforms, officials said.

The Indian Air Force deployed five MiG-29 (Upgraded) multi-role fighter aircraft for the first time in an international exercise outside India, they said.

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has deployed a batch of Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16 and Hawk aircraft.

The MiG-29 (Upgraded) is a modern multi-role fighter jet of IAF having air-to-air and air-to-ground strike capability.

"The larger objectives laid down for the exercise were to foster closer ties between the forces of both countries and to promote inter-operability through exchange of knowledge and experience," said an IAF spokesperson.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria visited Masirah island and reviewed the exercise.

He was accompanied by ambassador of India to Oman Munu Mahawar.

"During the visit, the Chief of Air Staff met IAF and RAFO contingents participating in exercise Eastern Bridge. He was briefed in detail about various aspects of the exercise and its progress," said the spokesperson.

"The exercise will greatly enhance mutual understanding and further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries," he said.