Ex­er­cise Desert Ea­gle-II con­cludes on June 3


Desert Ea­gle-II, which was the sec­ond in the se­ries of bi­lat­eral ex­er­cises be­tween the In­dian Air Force (IAF) and United Arab Emi­rates Air Force (UAE AF), con­cluded on June 3, 2016. This was a ten-day air com­bat ex­er­cise in which the IAF and the UAE Air Force un­der­took air ex­er­cises from Al-Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi, start­ing from May 22, 2016.

It is per­ti­nent to note that In­dia and United Arab Emi­rates have strong bi­lat­eral re­la­tions which date back to more than hun­dreds of years. Both the na­tions have demon­strated keen re­solve to en­gage each other in mul­ti­ple facets and take the re­la­tion­ship to the next level. De­fence co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two na­tions gained mo­men­tum af­ter sign­ing of the ‘Agree­ment of De­fence Co­op­er­a­tion’ dur­ing the visit of the Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces to In­dia in 2003.

Ex­er­cise Desert Ea­gle-II saw the IAF’s Su30-MKI par­tic­i­pat­ing along with Mi­rage 2000-9 and F-16 block 60 of the UAE Air Force. The IAF had par­tic­i­pated pre­vi­ously in Desert Ea­gle-I in 2008. While re­fer­ring to the over­all ex­er­cise, the team Leader Group Cap­tain H. As­sud­hani said: “This was an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for both the Air Forces to learn from each other and ex­change best prac­tices which in turn would be mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial.”

A wide va­ri­ety of mis­sions were flown un­der the be­yond vis­ual range (BVR) en­vi­ron­ment with var­ied lev­els of com­plex­i­ties. Mis- sion com­man­ders from both sides par­tic­i­pated in the ex­er­cise and availed this op­por­tu­nity to the max­i­mum to draw valu­able op­er­a­tional lessons. De­spite the pre­dom­i­nantly hot and arid con­di­tions with tem­per­a­tures well be­yond 40 de­grees Cel­sius, IAF main­te­nance sup­port staff suc­ceeded in main­tain­ing high ser­vice­abil­ity state of air­craft and equip­ment.

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