IAF takes part first time in Exercise Desert Flag in UAE

Aerial view of the IAF Su-30MKI fighter aircraft is seen participating in Exercise Dessert Flag in UAE on Saturday

The Indian Air Force (IAF) for the first time participated in the 6th edition of the Exercise Desert Flag–VI which was successfully culminated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today.


The Exercise Desert Flag is an annual multi-lateral large force employment exercise hosted by UAE with the de-induction of the Indian contingent from UAE. The exercise was conducted from Mar 4 to 27 at Air Force Base Al Dhafra, UAE. The IAF fielding Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. Six countries; UAE, USA, France, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain apart from India participated with aerial assets. Jordan, Greece, Qatar, Egypt and South Korea participated as observer forces.

The objectives for the exercise were to expose coalition participating forces to large force employment, sharpen tactical capabilities, and enhance interoperability along with fostering closer relations between the participating forces. The aim of the participating crew and specialist observers was to expose them to the operational environment in scenarios requiring multinational forces to work together. Timely and seamless induction and de-induction were facilitated by IAF C-17 Globe master aircraft.

During the exercise IAF flew Large Force Engagement (LFE) missions in near realistic environment involving many aircraft of varied types. IAF successfully undertook all the planned missions, both by day and night, without any mission abort.  All possible assistance was provided by UAE Air Force ensuring that all planned activities were completed in time.

IAF has been actively participating in operational international exercises, wherein collaborative engagements are enhanced. A multinational Exercise in UAE with friendly forces afforded a unique opportunity to gain valuable learning to all the participating forces. The knowledge gained, lessons learnt and bonds made during the course of Ex Desert Flag-VI will go a long way in bolstering professional capabilities of the participating forces