Red flag update

IAF removes hi-tech radars as 8 Sukhois leave for exercise with US
New Delhi | Monday, Jul 7 2008 IST
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In a bid to maintain operational secrecy, the Indian Force have removed hi-tech multiple aerial target tracking raders from its eight Sukhoi 30 fighters before they left for the United States to participate in the ‘Red Flag’ air warfare exercise with NATO forces.

Highly placed sources said here that the NIIP N001 radars, providing some ability for air-to-ground attack and to track and engage multiple aerial targets simultaneously were removed in a bid to maintain secrecy about the ability of the equipment during the air warfare exercise for which IAF was invited this year.

An Air Force spokesperson, however, maintained that there was nothing secret about the avionics and equipment mounted on the SU 30 MK I and its equipment was fully functional. ”We are not playing a game of hide-and-seek,” he added.

The Indian Air Force would be participating in a multinational Air Exercise, “Ex – Red Flag 08″ at the invitation of United States Air Force (USAF), scheduled to be held at Nellis Air Force Base in the US from August 9 to 23. The IAF contingent today left for the exercise. The IAF would participate in the exercise with eight SU-30 MK-I aircraft, two IL-78 air to air refuellers and one IL-76 transport aircraft. The contingent would comprise 156 personnel below officers rank and 91 officers (inclusive of 10 members of “Garuda” IAF Special Forces team).

Exercise Red Flag is a multinational air exercise that is held thrice a year at Nellis Air Force base, USA. The IAF would be participating in the Exercise alongside South Korean Air Force with F-15K and the French Air Force with their latest Rafale aircraft, apart from the USAF. Red Flag was originally conceived in 1975 by USAF with an advanced aerial combat training format with an aim to ensure that pilots are trained well enough to survive in air combat and win air battles. The exercise holds tremendous learning opportunity for all the participating Air Forces. Prior to the main Exercise at Nellis, the IAF contingent would be working up at Mountain Home Air Base in Idaho, US from July 17 till August 8. The IAF contingent would reach the US via Doha (Qatar), Chorlu (Turkey), Mont de Marsan (France) and Lages (Portugal) before reaching mainland USA and Mountain Home airbase.

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