London [UK], March 27 : The Indian Air Force contingent on Monday departed for India after successfully completing a four-week-long Cobra Warrior exercise held at the Waddington Air Force Base of the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom.
“@IAF_MCC contingent departed for India this morning after a successful four-week long Cobra Warrior exercise held at UK@DefenceHQ@DefenceMinIndia@VDoraiswami@sujitjoyghosh@MEAIndia@IndianDiplomacy@RoyalAirForce,” the Indian High Commission said in a tweet here.
The exercise was held from March 06-23. It was a multinational exercise. Countries like Singapore, Finland, the USA, South Africa, and Sweden also participated in the exercise.
The IAF sent five Mirage 2000 fighters along with IL-78 mid-air refueller aircraft, and two C-17 Globemaster. The aim of the exercise was to participate in diverse fighter aircraft engagements and learn from the best practices of various Air Forces.
This exercise involves high-intensity, large-force, and tactical air warfighting operations. The Mirage-2000s were drawn from all three existing squadrons, including those that took part in the Balakot air strike in February 2019.
The Cobra Warrior is one of the largest Royal Air Force exercises. During the exercise, the Royal Air Force provides special training to pilots from different countries. The exercise is being conducted for more than a decade. The Cobalt Warrior is considered one of the most challenging exercises in the world.
During the exercise, the Royal British Air Force offered Qualified Space Instructors Courses, surveillance, Multi-Engine Tactics, Qualified Weapons Instructors, etc. To qualify for these war strategies the Air Force crew had to seek intense training provided by the British Royal Air Force.
Finland, India, and Saudi Arabia joined Exercise Cobra Warrior for the first time. The initial plan was to bring in indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, but they were busy with another exercise, so the Mirage-2000s were deployed. The Saudi Arabian Air Force flew six Eurofighter Typhoons from RAF Coningsby base, while the Indian team, Finnish team, and Belgian Air Force flew six F/A-18 Super Hornets and six F-16s, respectively, from Waddington airbase.