IAF’s participation in US Red Flag exercise would cost Rs 80 crores

November 26th, 2007 - 8:12 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 26 (ANI): Stating that the participation of Indian Air Force in the Red Flag air exercise with the US would expose them to some of the ‘best practices’ followed by other Air Forces in the world, Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday revealed that the participation would cost the exchequer rupees 80 crores.
Though Antony did not say whether the Government has allowed IAF’s participation in the coveted exercise where mostly NATO countries participate, he admitted that the Air Force has sought permission to take part in the exercise scheduled for August 2008.
“This exercise would give and opportunity to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to gain knowledge in the area of state-of-art technology, ground handling and logistic support. Besides, this would given an exposure to the IAF to witness some of the best practices followed by other Air Forces in the world,” Antony said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
Antony had earlier gone public in support of IAF’s plan to participate in the Red Flag-Nellis exercise carried out by the US for its NATO allies.
The Red Flag exercises, held periodically at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in the US, since the Vietnam War, are very realistic aerial war games with the purpose to give pilots from the US, NATO and other allied countries an opportunity to practice and refine their skills for real combat situations.
The IAF has been regularly participating in joint air exercises with countries like the US, the UK and France. In 2005, IAF took part in one joint exercise with the US and in 2004, there were two joint exercises with the US Air Force.
In a reply to another question in the Lok Sabha, Antony said that the redesign and development of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles for the IAF is in progress and its test would be carried out in 2009.
The air-version of the cruise missile would be integrated with the SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft, and suitable universal launcher for different types of aircraft has also been designed.
The versions of Brahmos for the Indian Navy and Indian Army have already been developed.
The minister also revealed that there is a proposal to develop Advanced Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile in collaboration with Israel.
However, he did not divulge more details on it citing that it would not be in the national interest. (ANI)

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