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Aero India 2023

Singapore Air Force fighters practice combat drills in India


A file photo of F-16 fighter of the Royal Singapore Air Force

NEW DELHI (BNS): A Singapore Air Force fighter squadron is practicing combat drills in India's air space over Kalaikonda in eastern province of West Bengal along with Indian Air Force jets as part of a joint exercise.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has sent its F-16 C/D jets and IAF has pitched in MiG-27 ground attack fighters. The exercise started last month to end later this week. IAF's MiG-27 fighter squadron is based in Kalaikonda from where the war games are being handled.

This is not the first time IAF is hosting RSAF. The two had several rounds of exercises in the past. India had decided to allow Singapore to use its military facilities for training. Singapore, a small city-state, does not have adequate air space for its fighter jets to practice. It had approached India for help and IAF agreed to provide the facilities.

"SINDEX provides a valuable opportunity to both the air forces to interact in realistic and challenging conditions and learn from each other's experiences," said IAF officials. Six editions of the exercise have been held so far.


The IAF had opened up itself to foreign air forces some years ago. It holds regular exercises with top forces from the including the US, Britain, France and South Africa. IAF's Sukhoi 30 jets have just returned from the US after taking part in the prestigious Red Flag exercise.

The officials said that such engagements help in developing inter-operability among friendly forces. They can take part in joint operations if required. With threats like terrorism having trans national dimensions, there is a possibility of different air forces taking part in joint strikes against possible terror hideouts.

The IAF, however, has maintained that any joint operation has to be under the aegis of the United Nations. But its frequent interactions with foreign forces have prepared it for such tasks. The officials claimed that the skills of its pilots also get refined in these encounters.



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