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Enhancing air operation capabilities, Exercise Cope India 2023 culminates

Niti Post - April 26, 2023
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The sixth edition of the bilateral air exercise Cope India 2023 between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) culminated on April 24. With the aim to enhance the interoperability between the air froces, the air exercise was conducted in two phases over the last two weeks at Air Force Stations Kalaikunda, Panagarh and Agra, with Japan as the observer.

The exercise witnessed the participation of IAF’s frontline aircraft like Rafale, Tejas, Su-30MKI, Jaguar, C-17 and C-130. On the other hand, the USAF participated in the exercise with its F-15 ‘Strike Eagle’ fighter, C-130, MC-130J, C-17 and the B1B strategic bomber aircraft.

Phases of Cope India 2023

Exercise Cope India's initial phase, which started on April 10, was primarily concerned with the air forces' air mobility. During the first phase, both nations involved elements of transport aircraft and special forces. The exercise witnessed C-130J and C-17 aircraft from both sides. The USAF also involved its MC-130J aircraft.

During the second phase of the exercise, fighter aircraft from the Indian Air Force, including the Su-30 MKI, Rafale, Tejas, and Jaguar participated in various activities. The USAF contingent included the B1B bombers and the F-15 fighter aircraft. Additionally, the later part of the exercise also witnessed the involvement of Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C), AWACS, and aerial refuelling aircraft from the IAF.

On the sidelines of the air exercise, Pacific Air Force Commander General Kenneth S Wilsbach paid a visit to Air Force Station Kalaikunda. During his visit, the Pacific Air Force Commander flew a training mission in an IAF Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter plane. The General also met Air Marshal SP Dharkar, AOC-in-C of the Indian Air Force's Eastern Air Command. In addition, the General called on Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane in New Delhi.

To strengthen the sense of camaraderie and friendliness among the air warriors, cultural exchanges were also planned during the exercise.  Along with the participation of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force aircrew as observers, the joint exercise offered participants the chance to engage, exchange ideas, and learn best practices through combined operations.

 

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