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IAF Tejas jets to fly in first foreign exercise with UK deployment

Source : The Week

IAF Tejas jets to fly in first foreign exercise with UK deployment
Indian Air Force LCA Tejas (File Photo)

The Indian Air Force announced on Wednesday it would be sending five Tejas fighters to a multilateral exercise being organised by the UK’s Royal Air Force. The Indian Air Force said the Tejas jets would participate in Exercise Cobra Warrior at the RAF base at Waddington. A C-17 transport aircraft would accompany the fighters for the exercise, which will be held from March 6 to 27.

According to experts, this is the first deployment of the indigenously developed Tejas to an international exercise. In January last year, the government had cleared a major order for 83 Tejas MK1A fighters, which would feature improved radar and electronics and weapons capabilities, when compared with existing aircraft.

Cobra Warrior is considered the Royal Air Force’s most important multilateral exercise. According to UK aviation website Key. Aero, Cobra Warrior is organised annually to “conclude the training of Qualified Weapons Instructors (QWI), Qualified Multi-engine Tactics Instructors (QMETI), QWI Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (QWI ISR) and Qualified Space Instructor (QSI) students.”

In addition to fighter aircraft, participating air forces also bring systems such as airborne early warning and electronic warfare platforms to improve cooperation and preparedness.

According to reports, this year’s edition of Cobra Warrior would feature fighter aircraft from the RAF and air forces of countries such as Saudi Arabia and Sweden. Interestingly, Sweden only operates one type of fighter, the Gripen, a single-engine light fighter similar in capability to the Tejas.

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