The air forces of Indian and Japan are taking part in Exercise Maitri 23

Fighter and transporter aircraft from the IAF and hundreds of Air Warriors are taking part in these exercises

In a very rare occurrence, Indian Air Force teams are taking part in three International Air Force Exercises simultaneously - in the UAE, in the UK and Japan. India has deployed a fleet of fighter aircraft and transporter aircraft for the International exercises being conducted on foreign soil. Fighter and transporter aircraft from the IAF and hundreds of Air Warriors are taking part in these exercises that are aimed at building interoperability, exchanging best practices and enhancing mutual understanding.

What are these three International Air Force Exercises?

Exercise Desert Flag VIII

An Indian contingent of 110 Air Warriors is at Al-Dhafra airbase of the UAE, taking part in Exercise Desert Flag VIII. The Indian Air Force is participating with five TEJAS fighters and two C-17 Globemaster-III strategic heavy-lifter aircraft. Notably, this is the first-ever international flying exercise that India's indigenously-built Tejas will be flying in. Exercise Desert Flag is a multilateral air exercise in which the air forces from UAE, France, Kuwait, Australia, the UK, Bahrain, Morocco, Spain, the Republic of Korea, USA would be taking part. The exercise is going on from 27th February to 17th March. The exercise is aimed at facilitating diverse fighter jet engagements and learning from the best practices.

Exercise Cobra Warrior

A 145-member team of the Indian Air Force are at UK's Waddington Air Force Base for the multilateral Air Exercise Cobra warrior. Air forces from Sweden, Finland, South Africa, the USA and Singapore would be taking part alongside the Royal Air Force and Indian Air Force. The IAF has deployed five Mirage-2000 fighters, two C-17 Globemaster III strategic heavy-lifter aircraft and an IL-78 mid-air refueller aircraft. The exercise is being conducted from 6th to 24th March.

Exercise Shinyuu Maitri

On the sidelines of the Indo-Japan Joint Army Exercise Dharma Guardian, the respective air forces are taking part in Exercise Maitri 23 which focuses on heavy-lift transport aircraft operations. The IAF contingent is taking part in one C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, whereas the Japanese JASDF will be fielding the C-2 transport aircraft. The exercise will comprise discussions on transport operations and tactical manoeuvring, followed by flying drills. The ongoing exercise is being conducted on March 1st and 2nd in Japan.