'EX-INDRADHANUSH 2007' GETS UNDERWAY AT UK
Waddington (UK): July 4, 2007
The second bilateral Indo-UK air exercise - 'Indradhanush-2007', involving the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF), got underway here at the Royal Air Force (RAF) base, Waddington, on Monday.
The inaugural day, primarily for familiarization of the participating IAF Su-30 MKI aircrew with the flying environment in UK, saw them flying alongside RAF F3 Tornadoes of the XXV Squadron that are based at RAF Leeming, but are operating from Waddington alongside IAF Su-30 MKIs for the duration of the exercise. Also airborne were a Eurofighter Typhoon and a Hawk aircraft.
"It will be a mutual learning experience for both", said Wing Commander AK Bharti, talking of the learning values in terms of inter-operability between the two air forces after returning from a sortie, of a four-aircraft formation comprising a Su-30 MKI, F3 Tornado, Typhoon and a Hawk.
The 'airborne warning and control' (AWAC) system experience, a veritable electronic 'eye-in-the-sky' platform was also observed by few IAF personnel onboard an E3-D Sentry AWAC aircraft belonging to RAF's No. 8 Fighter Squadron, based here in Waddington. The E3-D Sentry and the F3 Tornadoes also participated in the first series of Exercise Indradhanush-2006, held at Gwalior in India, last year.
The exercise between two simulated air elements, the "Red Air" (aggressors) and the "Blue Air" (defenders) forces will have the training element for the latter. Missions comprising multiple aircraft will form some of the intrinsic training missions, some of them highly advanced and complex missions. Mediating between the two will be the "White" force, who remain neutral and whose decisions will be the last word, to mitigate differences, if any. They comprise 'observers' from both sides, and include members from the IAF's 'Tactics and Combat Development Establishment' (TACDE) and the RAF's 'Air Warfare Centre' (AWC), the premiere institutions of the two air forces, constituting the 'best-amongst-the-best' aircrew and personnel on both sides.