New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Air Force is holding simultaneous joint exercises with US and Russia in the eastern and western sectors of the country respectively in what is being hailed by many as reminiscent of India's non-aligned policy. While the Cope India exercise with the US Air Force is being held at Kalaikunda, West Bengal, the Aviaindra exercise with the Russian Russian Federation Aerospace Force is being held at the western air base in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
"There are significant differences between the exercises. While 12 USAF F-15 C/D air superiority fighters and three C-130s are participating in Cope India, the IAF describes AVIAINDRA as a unique exercise in which the foreign participants will not bring their air assets. The Aviaindra exercise is the second phase of drills between India and Russia this year, with an earlier exercise taking place at Lipetsk, Russia, in September. During the first phase, IAF pilots flew Russian Air Force aircraft. The exercises would include a counter-terrorism scenario, which would see Indian and Russian pilots fly fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters of Russian origin," Indian news magazine The Week writes in its analysis.
— Livefist (@livefist) December 8, 2018
Indian diplomacy at it's best!
— Sankalan Chatterjee (@VinodDX9) December 10, 2018
Indian Air Force tweeted to confirm that the joint exercise with Russia primarily focuses on counter-terrorism operations.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 10, 2018
— Livefist (@livefist) December 9, 2018