The Saudi Royal Air Force combat aircraft arrived Friday at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in the joint exercise (Desert Flag 2021), the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Military Attaché at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi Brigadier General Abdulmohsen bin Fahd Al-Sudairy, and Commander of the Air Force Group participating in the exercise Lt. Colonel Fahd bin Muzel Al-Harbi, received the Air Force Group participating in the exercise, which aims to refine and develop the skills of the air and technical crews and develop the fighting readiness of the participating air forces.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) said it is also participating in Desert Flag-VI along with the air forces of the UAE, the US, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain for the first time.
Desert Flag-VI is scheduled from 3-21 March 2021. The exercise is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the UAE Air Force.
“The IAF is participating for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI along with air forces of United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain,” IAF said in a statement.
The IAF is participating with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft.
The C-17 Globemaster will provide support for the induction and de-induction of the IAF contingent.
The Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake a long-range ferry, routing directly from India to the exercise area with aerial refueling support from the IL-78 tanker aircraft.
The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces, while training them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment, the statement said.
The participating forces will get an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities, it said, adding that there will also be a mutual exchange of best practices.
The large-scale exercise involving diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe will provide the participating forces, including the IAF, a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience, enhance operational capabilities and interoperability.
Exercising and interacting with the participating nations in a dynamic and realistic warfare environment will also contribute to strengthen international relations, the statement said.