Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to participate once again in the USA’s Red Flag exercise after a gap of eight years, which is the world’s toughest and best mock war drill in the air.
The Indian aircraft – four each of Sukhoi-30 MKI and deep penetration Jaguars; two C17 transport plans and two IL-78 mid air refuellers — will travel through Bahrain, Egypt, France, Portugal and Canada before reaching the Eielson air base in Alaska, where the exercise would be conducted between April 28 and May 13.
The IAF participated in the Red Flag only once in 2008 after the bilateral relations between New Delhi and Washington improved. India planned for a second show in 2013, but USAF abandoned the plan

citing budgetary constraints.
Because of the expenses involved, the government decided to take part in the Red Flag once in five years. The first one in 2008, cost the exchequer about Rs 100 crore.
“The personnel have assembled at the Jamnagar air base where they will undergo some training schedule. Advanced party will leave shortly and the rest would join them later in the USA,” said an IAF spokesperson on Sunday. Conceived after the Vietnam war, the Red Flag is the world's most challenging air exercise that provides air force pilots realistic combat experience. Participation in the air exercise was earlier restricted to close US allies, but extended to India in the last decade. 

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