Indo-UK Air Force Exercise named Ex-Indradhanush would be taking place at Air Force Station Kalaikunda, in West Midinapur district, West Bengal from 18 Oct 2010 till 03 Nov 2010.
This would be for the first time when RAF (Royal Air Force) Typhoons would be seen in a joint operational scenario in India. The IAF would be participating in this exercise with its SU-30 MKI, Mirage 2000s, Mig 27s and Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) Aircraft. The RAF would also be deploying its AWACS (E-3D) and Air to Air refuellers (VC-10).
According to the Air Marshal KK Nohwar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command “the exercise Indradhanush is an opportunity for both the Air Forces to get an insight into each others operational philosophies and work cultures. This will greatly enhance the understanding of our Air Force to operate in scenario involving state of the art technologies”.
During the exercise Indradhanush, specific emphasis will be on exposing more IAFs aircrew and controllers to missions like Large Force Engagements, and protection of High Value Aerial Assets roles routinely undertaken by RAF as apart of coalition/expeditionary force deployment around the globe. It will be for the first time that IAF AWACS will participate in a joint AF exercise. The other novel exposure is expected to be logistical management needed to move large forces for a possible out of area contingency.
Air Force Station Kalaikunda, with its infrastructure of international Standards, has now become a natural choice for hosting international exercises. IAF has earlier exercise with Airforces of other countries in various parts of the world such as USA (mainland), Alaska, France, South Africa and Oman.