India-Oman air exercise next week


Codenamed Eastern Bridge, the eight-day exercise at the Oman air base will involve deep penetrating Jaguar fighters from both sides, besides IL-78 MKI mid-air refueller and heavy lift IL-76 from the Indian side. It begins on October 22.

Besides the Jaguars, the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) also flies British Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer and F-16 Block 52+, which is one of the most advanced versions of the popular American fighter.

“The exercise will provide us the opportunity to understand the RAFO better so that if we are called upon any time in future for joint operations against pirates, we can dovetail within a short notice,” said Indian Air Force vice-chief P K Barbora. The IAF role against deep-sea piracy will be limited to surveillance.

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