Important Military Exercises By Indian Air Force [Full List]


1. Indra Dhanush V

1. Participating nations India, United Kingdom
2. Dates of the exercise 24-Feb-20 to 29-Feb-20 (6 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Air Force Station Hindon, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
4. Units Participated 36 specialised combatants of the RAF Regiment participated along with 42 combatants of the GARUD Team.C130J aircraftMi-17 V5 helicoptersVarious airborne sensors
5. Important Points to remember Both sides would also exercise specialised weapons, equipment and vehicles and validate joint employability. Special missions would encompass Airfield Seizure, Base Defence and anti-terror operations in Urban built up zones. These exercises would include para drops from C-130J aircraft, tactical insertions by Mi-17 V5 helicopters and use of various airborne sensors.
6. Goal of the exercise ‘Base Defence and Force Protection’

2. Exercise Table Top

1. Participating nations India, Myanmar
2. Dates of the exercise 25-Feb-20 to 27-Feb-20 (3 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh
4. Units Participated Not known
5. Important Points to remember The objectives of the exercise include planning of HADR operation in a given scenario, learn best practices, executing mission during HADR disasters, understand Search and Rescue Mission procedures etc.The exercise was conducted under the aegis of Headquarters Central Air Command, IAF. A 20-member team of IAF participated in the exercise.The expenditure incurred on the exercise was met almost entirely from the operational budget of the Services. The Air Forces of both countries were able to achieve the objectives of the laid down procedure.India and Myanmar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation on 29th July 2019 in New Delhi for furtherance of India-Myanmar cooperation in the field of Defence
6. Goal of the exercise Planning of HADR operations

3. Joint Military Training Exercise

1. Participating nations India, Singapore
2. Dates of the exercise 31-Oct-19 to 12-Dec-19 (43 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Air Force Station Kalaikunda, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal
4. Units Participated The RSAF deployed six F-16C/D fighter aircraft to train alongside the IAF’s six SU-30MKI fighter aircraft.
5. Important Points to remember To commemorate the 10th edition of this exercise, the scope of the exercise was expanded to include an air-sea training component for the first time, with assets from the Indian Navy supporting. This exercise allows aircrew from both air forces to hone their operational skills and enhance interoperability through high-end training such as Air Combat and Mission-Oriented Trainings.JMT is conducted under the ambit of the Air Force Bilateral Agreement, which was signed in 2007 and was recently renewed in 2017. Aside from the JMT, both air forces also interact regularly through visits, cross-attendance of courses and other professional exchanges.
6. Goal of the exercise Strong relationship and lasting friendship

4. Exercise Garuda VI

1. Participating nations India, France
2. Dates of the exercise 01-Jul-19 to   12-Jul-19 (12 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Mont-de-Marsan Air Base 118, France
4. Units Participated 134 air-warriors IAF contingent Four Su-30 MKI fighters One IL-78 air-to-air refuelling aircraftTwo C-17 Globemaster aircraft
5. Important Points to remember Garuda-VI was the largest international air training exercise for the year 2019.The exercise ensured that the participating forces were exposed to operational environment in an international scenario. Garuda VI was planned in two phases. In these phases, both IAF and FAF flew missions involving Large Force Engagement (LFE) air combat exercises in near realistic environment and exchanged best practices towards enhancing our operational capability. IAF undertook operations both by day and by night.During the exercise, IAF maintenance crew ensured 100% serviceability of all assets, thus ensuring that all missions were flown on all days as planned.The Operational lessons learnt by IAF during the exercise will assist IAF in adding more teeth to its overall war waging capabilities and assist us in better jointmanship with the friendly forces.
6. Goal of the exercise Foster closer relationship, promote interoperability through exchange of knowledge and experience.

5. Exercise Eastern Bridge V

1. Participating nations India, Oman
2. Dates of the exercise 16-Oct-19 to 26-Oct-19 (10 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Air Force Base Masirah, Oman
4. Units Participated MiG-29 and C-17 aircraft (the first time that MIG-29 fighter aircraft participating in an International Exercise outside India).
5. Important Points to remember The exercise will enhance interoperability during mutual cooperation between two Air Force.The exercise will also promote exchange of experience and operational knowledge and will promote professional interaction.The last EX EASTERN BRIDGE-IV exercise was conducted in 2017 at Jamnagar, India.
6. Goal of the exercise Enhance interoperability during mutual cooperation

6. Exercise Shinyuu Maitri

1. Participating nations India, Japan
2. Dates of the exercise 17-Oct-19 to 23-Oct-19 (7 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Air Force Station Arjan Singh, Panagarh, West Bengal.
4. Units Participated C-130J of Special Operations Squadron of IAFC-130H of Tactical Airlift Squadron of JASDF
5. Important Points to remember India and Japan have agreed to add a new element to their growing defence partnership by holding joint fighter aircraft exercise in Japan in 2020. This was decided at the maiden 2+2 Foreign & Defence Minister Dialogue.
6. Goal of the exercise To undertake Joint Mobility and Tactical interoperability among the two forces

7. Exercise Cope India

1. Participating nations India, United States
2. Dates of the exercise 03-Dec-19 to 14-Dec-19 (11 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Air Force Station Kalaikunda and Air Force Station Arjan Singh (Panagarh), West Bengal
4. Units Participated Around 200 men from the US Air Force with 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan and 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard will take part in the exercise alongside men from the Indian Air Force.
5. Important Points to remember The Cope India exercise is being held after a gap of eight years, with the last one having taken place in 2010.The exercise is a long-standing bilateral US Pacific Air Forces-sponsored Field Training Exercise, conducted with the Indian Air Force.It focuses on enhancing mutual cooperation between the US and India and building on the existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment.Cope India is a series of joint Air Force exercises held between the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force, in India.The first such exercise, which required many months of preparation, was conducted at the air force station in Gwalior in February 2004.The exercise included flight tests, practice and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation.
6. Goal of the exercise Commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

8. Exercise Avia Indra

1. Participating nations India, Russia
2. Dates of the exercise 17-Sep-18 to 28-Sep-18 (11 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Lipetsek, Russia
4. Units Participated Su-30 SM, Mig-29, Su-25, Mi-8 and An-26 aircrafts along with 30 officers of IAF.
5. Important Points to remember The aim of the exercise was to learn best practices from one another, and it also includes simulator training. The exercise included briefing on Aerospace safety and anti-terrorist air operations.The second edition of service specific exercise AVIAINDRA between Indian Air Force and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFSAF) was held at Air Force Station Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The inaugural IAF-RFSAF Ex AVIAINDRA was conducted in 2014 and since then it is conducted bi-annually (twice a year) in both countries.In addition to flying exercise, there would be formal interactions, discussions, exchange of ideas and friendly sports matches to enhance bonhomie between the two Air Forces.
6. Goal of the exercise To formulate and validate use of airpower in anti-terrorist operation in a bilateral scenario

9. Exercise Red Flag (Multinational)

1. Participating nations US and its allied nations (including India)
2. Dates of the exercise 28-Apr-18 to 13-May-18 (16 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Eielson USAF airbase in Alaska
4. Units Participated From India: Four Sukhoi-30MKIsFour JaguarsTwo IL-78 mid-air refuellers Two C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft
5. Important Points to remember Red Flag exercises are conducted under the aegis of the United States Air Force Warfare Center (USAFWC) at Nellis. They are run by the 414th Combat Training Squadron (414 CTS) of the 57th Wing (57 WG). They use “enemy” hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises within the adjacent Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR).First held in 1975, Red Flag exercises bring together aircrews from the United States Air Force (USAF), United States Navy (USN), United States Marine Corps (USMC), United States Army (USA) and numerous NATO and allied nations’ air forces.The U.S. Air Force has cancelled Phase-I of Red Flag, scheduled in Alaska from April 30, 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic. IAF was to participate in this exercise.The IAF joined Red Flag for the first time in 2008 in Nevada. However, it had said it would not take part in every edition of the biennial exercise because of the high cost involved.
6. Goal of the exercise Offer realistic air-combat training for military pilots and other flight crew members from the United States and allied countries

10. Exercise Pitch Black (Multinational)

1. Participating nations Hosted by Australia, participants include India, Canada, France (New Caledonia), Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the United States.
2. Dates of the exercise 27-Jul-18 to 17-Aug-18 (22 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal, Australia
4. Units Participated From IAF, four Su-30 MKI, 01 X C-130 and 01 X C-17 aircraft participated.Over 100 aircraft from around the globe were present.
5. Important Points to remember Indian Air Force participated in this exercise for the first time.Recently, Australia has informed India that the exercise Pitch Black 2020, scheduled to be held from 27th July to 14th August has been cancelled due to the Covid-19.The next edition will be held in 2022.Exercise Pitch Black is a biennial three-week multilateral air combat training exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).It is based on the Memorandum on Defence Cooperation 2006, the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation 2009 and the bilateral framework for Security Cooperation 2014.It ensures that the training and integration of forces that occur during this exercise directly supports the Air Force’s ability to conduct operations.Australia recently suggested trilateral cooperation among India, Australia and Indonesia to identify new ways for collaboration for the safety and security of the Indian Ocean.
6. Goal of the exercise Ensuring that any future bilateral trade in nuclear-related material or items for civil use is/are protected

11. Exercise Blue Flag (Multinational)

1. Participating nations Hosted by Israel, Participants include India, United States, Greece, Poland, France, Germany, Italy (8 nations)
2. Dates of the exercise 02-Nov-17 to 06-Nov-17 (5 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Uvda Air Force Base, Israel
4. Units Participated Super Hercules C-130J Special Operations transport aircraft & Garud commandos from IAFThe F-16 fighters from Greece, Poland, US Mirage 2000 D from France, Tornado aircraft from ItalyEurofighter Typhoon from GermanyC-130 is a familiar platform to all the participating nations
5. Important Points to remember Blue Flag 2017 adds an important layer to the matrix of bilateral defence cooperation, which has encompassed import of niche technology and equipment, Staff talks, reciprocal visits of chiefs of armed forces, port visits by ships of the Indian Navy, among other interactions.For Israel, the Blue Flag exercises are an important effort to enhance its military diplomacy footprint and provide an opportunity for its pilots to train in a multi-lateral setting in their own air space. The IsAF, in fact, began these multi-lateral air exercises ostensibly in response to being denied permission by Turkey to take part in the 2009 Anatolian Eagle air exercises after Israel’s Cast Lead military action in Gaza.Nevertheless, India’s first ever participation in multilateral air exercises on Israeli soil undoubtedly builds on the path-breaking visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July 2017.
6. Goal of the exercise Simulate extreme combat scenarios and coalition flights as realistically as possible

12. Exercise SIAM Bharat

1. Participating nations India, Thailand
2. Dates of the exercise 22-May-17 to 26-May-17 (5 days);
3. Place where exercise was conducted Chiang Mai, Thailand
4. Units Participated Not known
5. Important Points to remember The bilateral exercise is aimed at evolving Standard Operating Procedures for planning and executing relief missions during unforeseen natural calamities like Tsunami, earthquakes, cyclones, floods etc.This exercise will also enhance interoperability between both the Air Forces.The IAF and RTAF will undergo combined air operations triggered by a crisis.The exercise would assist in laying down procedures and establish decision support system at various stages of relief operations.Indo-Thailand Siam Bharat 17 HADR exercise has took Indo-Thailand relationship to new height. Both Air Forces have learnt how to complete rescue missions during the natural calamity which is very important for disaster management of the country. We may witness such kind of bilateral exercises in near future.
6. Goal of the exercise Planning and executing relief missions during unforeseen natural calamities

13. Exercise Desert Eagle II

1. Participating nations India, United Arab Emirates
2. Dates of the exercise 24-May-16 to 03-Jun-16 (11 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates
4. Units Participated IAF Su-30 MKI participated along with Mirage 2000-9 and F-16 block 60 of the UAE Air Force
5. Important Points to remember It is pertinent to note that India and United Arab Emirates have strong bilateral relations which dates back to more than hundreds of years. Both the nations have demonstrated keen resolve to engage each-other in multiple facets and take the relationship to the next level. Defence Co-operation between the two nations gained momentum after signing of the Agreement of Defence Co-operation during the visit of the Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces to India in 2003.Notably, the Indian Air Force had participated previously in Desert Eagle I in 2008.A wide variety of missions were flown under the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) environment with varied levels of complexities. Mission commanders from both sides participated in the exercise and availed this opportunity to the maximum to draw valuable operational lessons.
6. Goal of the exercise To build and promote bilateral relations and enhance interoperability.

14. Exercise Gagan Shakti

1. Participating nations Indian Air Force specific
2. Dates of the exercise 08-Apr-18 to 22-Apr-18 (15 days)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Pakistan and China border
4. Units Participated To conduct this exercise, the IAF has mobilized more than 1100 combat, transport and rotary wing (helicopter) aircrafts, apart from 300 officers and 1500 airmen.
5. Important Points to remember In a massive show of strength, the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’ which is termed as the biggest ever war combat game exercise on the Pakistan and China border to show its dominance over Indian Ocean Region (IOR).The first phase of the exercise began on April 10, in which the focus was on the western border with Pakistan.In this phase, SU-30 and Jaguar fighter aircraft equipped with the potent Brahmos and Harpoon Anti-ship missiles addressed in depth targets over the western seaboards.The second phase of the exercise involved activation of Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Air Commands.During the exercise, fighter jets carried out surge operations by generating the maximum number of sorties in a 24-hour cycle and conducted long-range missions with concentrated live and simulated weapon releases across all air to ground ranges in the country.More than 11,000 sorties were flown, which include approximately 9,000 sorties by fighter aircraft.
6. Goal of the exercise To practice its combat drills and carry out operations in a realistic scenario.

15. Exercise Iron Fist

1. Participating nations Indian Air Force specific
2. Dates of the exercise 11-Jul-18 (1 day)
3. Place where exercise was conducted Pokhran, Thar Desert, Rajasthan
4. Units Participated Sukhoi Su-30 MKIHAL TejasSuryakiran Aerobatic TeamGarud Commando ForceMore than 180 fighter jets, transport aircraft and helicopters
5. Important Points to remember The Iron Fist 2013 was the Indian Air Force’s first day-night exercise. It was conducted on 22 February 2013 at the Pokhran firing range.The live telecast was also made by the IAF to showcase its capabilities. It was accompanied by music and live commentary describing the aircraft, capabilities, mission under progress, target, weapon details, pilot and crew names and also live footage from the cockpit.The Exercise showcased offensive operations like destroying communication centres, runways, hangars, fuel & ammunition buildings, etc. deep behind enemy lines.Iron Fist 2016 was held on 18 March 2016. It featured the participation of 181 aircraft, 103 of them fighter planes. It also included a display of the firepower of Tejas LCA for the first time.
6. Goal of the exercise Display network-centric operations capabilities of the Indian Air Force

Hemanth Kasturi

    General Studies Tutor at SSBCrackExams, Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, Cleared NDA, CDS, INET, AFCAT exams.

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    1. Naveen

      Which is the best book for NDA General knowledge book and for mathematics. And what is the syllabus for Biology and Social

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