India’s SU-30 jets in Britain for joint exercise

June 30th, 2007  

Topic: India’s SU-30 jets in Britain for joint exercise

India’s SU-30 jets in Britain for joint exercise
New Delhi, June 28: India's frontline Sukhoi-30 jets have flown to a Royal Air Force base for the first joint exercise in British airspace by the two countries beginning next week.

The SU-30mkis participating in the "Indra-Danush" exercise at Waddington airbase have attracted aviation afficionados and "spotters", who have been camping near the base in eastern England with cameras to get their first glimpse of the IAF jets.

The 10-day exercise will get underway on July 2. Six SU-30mkis and two IL-78 mki mid-air refuelling aircraft will participate in the wargame.

The first of two IL-76s ferrying 50 IAF personnel, including ground crew and technicians, arrived at the RAF base yesterday via Doha in Qatar and Tanagra in Greece.

"This is the first time ever that an IL-76 has landed at any RAF airbase," Wing Commander P S Arora, the leader of the crew of the IL-76, was quoted as saying by a IAF spokesman.

RAF Sergeant Ashwin "Azzy" Rana of the no 8 fighter squadron at Waddington airbase is the liaison officer for the IAF contingent.

The Waddington base is home to the RAF's airborne intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance aircraft.

Boeing E-3D sentry surveillance aircraft and nimrod R1 jets are operated from the base. The former constitutes the British component of the NATO early warning force.

The airbase is also preparing for the Waddington international air show, the largest of RAF's air shows.

Three SU-30mkis will be put on static display at the show on June 30 and July 1. A flypast by a IL-78 flanked by two SU-30mkis will also be part of the event.

Last year, the IAF and RAF conducted a joint exercise at the Gwalior and Agra airbases. During this exercise, the RAF's Tornado F-3s, an E-3d sentry and a VC-10 tanker engaged IAF aircraft like the SU-30mki, Mirage 2000, MIG-21 bison and MIG-27.

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