COPE India aimed at future scenarios: Officials

COPE India aimed at future scenarios: Officials

IAF and US Airforce officials at COPE India in Kalaikunda. (DH Photo/Soumya Das)

Officials of the IAF said on Monday that the third edition of the COPE India exercise between IAF and US Airforce is aimed at tackling future scenarios.

US Airforce official spoke on similar lines.

The comments come at a time when China is increasingly asserting it’s millitary presence in the region. The exercise is being held at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Bengal.

“Compared to previous excercises joint-manship is at the forefront of the current edition of COPE India wherein we are training together with the US Airforce with the vast array of fighters Indian Airforce has so that we can operate together in times to come,” J S Mann, IAF’s exercise director of COPE India said at Kalaikunda.

The IAF officials also laid out three more objectives to the current edition of COPE India.

According to IAF officials the first objective of the exercise is to enhance to mutual understanding of the two country’s operational air power.

The second one is learning the best practices of each other and the third one is smooth coordination between the two forces.

“The exercise has three fold objectives. The first one is mutual understanding of operational exploitation of air power, the second one is learning the best practices and last and most important inter-operability” said Mann.

The US Airforce officials also emphasized on holding such bilateral exercises more often to boost cooperation between the two airforces.

“We need to continue this relationship. We need such exercises more frequently,” said Colonel Daryl Insley of the US Airforce.

The first edition of COPE India took place in Gwalior in 2004 while the second edition was held in 2005 in Kalaikunda.

The third one is being held after a gap of 13 years in Kalaikunda.

While the the US Airforce deployed 12 F15 combat jets, the IAF deployed 10 Sukhoi 30 MKIs, six Jaguars and five Mirage 2000 aircrafts.

Both sides deployed couple of C 130 J special operations transport aircraft during the exercise. Airborne Early Warning and Control System ( AWACS) aircraft of IAF was also deployed.

The latest edition of COPE India comprised of mock dog fights, demonstration of airborne assault tactics by Garud commandos of IAF as well as mock interception.