Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force. The Indian Air Force is participating for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI along with air forces of the United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain. The exercise is scheduled from 03 Mar 21 to 27 Mar 21 at Al-Dhafra airbase, UAE.
The IAF is participating in Ex Desert Flag with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft. C-17 Globemaster will provide support for induction/ de-induction of the IAF contingent. Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake long-range ferry, routing directly from India to the exercise area with aerial refuelling support from IL-78 tanker aircraft. The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces while training them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment. The participating forces will get an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with the mutual exchange of best practices.
The large-scale exercise involving diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe will provide the participating forces, including IAF, a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience, enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. Exercising and interaction with the participating nations in a dynamic and realistic warfare environment will also contribute to strengthening international relations.
Over the last decade, IAF has regularly hosted and participated in multi-national operational exercises, wherein collaborative engagements are undertaken amongst the best air forces of the world.