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March 29, 2021

UAE-hosted annual multinational exercise Desert Flag VI concludes

The UAE-hosted annual multi-lateral large force employment exercise Desert Flag-VI has concluded at Al-Dhafra airbase.

The UAE-hosted annual multi-lateral large force employment exercise Desert Flag-VI has concluded at Al-Dhafra airbase.

The exercise saw participation from airforces of France, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain.

Jordan, Greece, Qatar, Egypt and South Korea served as observer forces in the exercise.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) took part in the exercise for the first time. Desert Flag-VI started on 3 March and ran until 27 March.

According to a statement issued by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the IAF participated with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft in the exercise.

The MoD said in a statement: “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.

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“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.”

The exercise provided an opportunity for participating forces to improve their operational capabilities and interoperability.

The airforces carried out simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment, exchanged best practices and bolstered their relationships.

During the exercise, the IAF flew large force engagement (LFE) missions in near realistic warfare environment that involved fighter jets of several kinds.

The MoD also noted that IAF undertook all the planned missions without any ‘mission abort’.

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