IAF and Navy is set to commence exercise with US carrier group

The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy will take part in an exercise along with a US carrier strike group (CSG) in the Indian Ocean for two days commencing from Wednesday.

Sukhois, Jaguars, IAF refuelling aircrafts and warship along with maritime patrol aircraft of the Navy will also take part in the exercise.

In a statement, the Navy revealed that on June 23 and June 24, its INS Kochi and Teg along with P8I and MiG-29K aircraft will participate in a ‘Passage Exercise’ with US Navy CSG Ronald Regan during its transit through Indian Ocean Region.

It further stated that the Indian Naval warships with aircraft from Indian Navy and Indian Airforce will be involved in a joint multi domain operations along with a carrier strike group consisting Nimitz class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey and Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh.

The US CSG, the air force affirmed that it is likely to field F-18 fighters and E-2C Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft. The exercise is expected to be executed in the south of Thiruvananthapuram on the western seaboard.

The Navy expressed that these two days exercise focuses on strengthening the bilateral relationships and cooperation through demonstrating the ability to integrate and coordinate comprehensively in maritime operations. Furthermore, it informed that high tempo operations during the exercise involves advance air defense exercise, cross deck helicopter operations followed by anti- submarine exercises.

On the participating forces the Navy expressed that they will strive to hone their war fighting skills and enhance their interoperability as an integrated force determined to uphold peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.

The Air Force also stated that the exercise as an strategic outreach exercise along with the defense forces of friendly foreign countries will look forward on multiple areas like enhancing aspects of interoperability, nuances of international integrated maritime (Search and Rescue) operations followed by exchange of best practices in maritime airpower domain. It further informed that the Ronald Reagan is currently deployed in the IOR.

According to reports, the exercise in the Southern Air command area of responsibility will witness the IAF forces operate from bases under four operational commands. The exercise will involve Jaguars, Su-30 MKI fighters, Air to Air Refueller  aircraft, Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) and Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C).

The Air Force expressed, “This engagement with the US CSG offers one more opportunity to undertake joint operations in the maritime domain with the friendly foreign power.”


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