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Military

India to participate in simulated dogfights over the U.S.

RIA Novosti

07/07/2008 14:06 NEW DELHI, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Indian air force will participate for the first time in U.S.-led Red Flag 2008 air exercises on August 8-23 at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, the Indian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Red Flag is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States, NATO and other allied countries, which has been periodically conducted on the vast Nevada Test and Training Range, north of Las Vegas, since 1975.

India is sending on Monday a total of 247 pilots and technical personnel, eight Su-30MKI fighters, two Il-78 aerial tankers and an Il-76 transport plane, all of which are Russian-made, to join U.S. F-15s and F-16s, French Rafale fighters and South Korean F-15K fighters in the exercise.

The Indian pilots will be preparing for the exercises at the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho from July 17 until August 7.

"These exercises will help Indian pilots improve their tactical and piloting skills over unfamiliar terrain and in a different climate," former chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy, told RIA Novosti.

The Indian Air Force has strength of about 170,000 personnel and over 1,400 combat aircraft, making it the fourth largest air force in the world.



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