Exercise Indra Dhanush, the first-ever combined British-Indian air force exercise in the UK at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Waddington base in Lincolnshire, has concluded. Both sides said they were pleased by what was achieved during the fortnight-long mission. Earlier, a successful training exercise was held between the RAF and the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Gwalior and Agra, in India, in 2006.
According to Wing Commander John Prescott, Officer Commanding the 25th Squadron: "This exercise has given British pilots the chance to learn how to operate closely with a non-NATO and non-European country. We went from simple air exercises to large force employment in a variety of operational relevant scenarios. The Indian pilots spoke excellent English, so apart from a different accent, there were no communication problems."
The Indians used SU30 MK 1 fighters during the exercise. They also took a tanker plane and full ground crew. Historically, the IAF has had many UK aircraft in its fleet, and recently, India has acquired the Hawk fast jet trainer. Wg Cdr A C Chopra said: "We wanted to build on last year's exercise in India and were able to meet our objectives. We flew in mixed formations and now have a degree of interoperability."