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Cope India Exercise : American F-15s, IAF’s Russian-origin Su-30s to engage in wargames over Indian skies from April 10

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

American F-15s, IAF’s Russian-origin Su-30s to engage in wargames over Indian skies from April 10
File Photo of Cope India Exercise 2004

New Delhi: Amid an ongoing conflict between Russia and the US-backed Ukraine, the Air Forces of India and the US will hold wargames at the Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal from April 10.

Cope India Exercise : American F-15s, IAF’s Russian-origin Su-30s to engage in wargames over Indian skies from April 10

“A squadron of the US Air Force’s F-15 Strike Eagle fighter aircraft will be arriving at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal for the Cope India series of wargames where the Indian side would be mainly fielding its Russian-origin Sukhoi-30 jets,” senior IAF officials told ANI here.

The Indian side would be represented by the Su-30MKIs along with the other combat aircraft from other modern fleets, they said.

The LCA Tejas also may be fielded during the exercise to showcase the ‘Made-in- India’ aircraft.

The US Air Force contingent arriving for the exercise is expected to come from the Pacific command of the American military which coordinates with India in the Indo-Pacific region.

The timing of the exercise with the participation of the F-15 fighter aircraft is important as it is one of the contenders for the planned competition for the 114 multi-role fighter aircraft competition by the Indian Air Force.

The Indian Air Force is also likely to field its airborne early warning aircraft and IL-78 mid-air refuelers for the exercise, they said.

The Indian Air Force has recently been engaged in multiple multinational exercises in which the US has also participated including the EX Desert Flag in the UAE and Ex Cobra Warrior in the UK.

The field training exercise focused on enhancing US-Indian mutual cooperation by building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment.

Cope India began in 2004 as a fighter training exercise held at Air Station Gwalior, India.

The exercise has evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises.

The last edition of the wargame was held in 2019.

The US has also been making efforts to have closer military ties with Indian forces who have traditionally used Russian-origin hardware including the Air Force and Army mainly. (ANI)

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