New Delhi: For the first time Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-29 UPG (Upgrade) aircraft exercised along with Royal Air Force Oman’s (RAFO) advanced trainer aircraft `Hawk’ of the UK based BAE System, American Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and the European Eurofighter `Typhoon’ in Oman.
The Russian MiG-29 UPG is a modern multi-role fighter aircraft of IAF and has air-to-air and air-to-ground capability, which is coupled with air-to-air Refuelling.
The IAF and RAFO have been participating in biennial exercise Eastern Bridge regularly and Oman was the first country in the Gulf region to start joint exercises with the Indian Armed forces.
According to the IAF, such drills offer operational exposure to all participating Air Forces of different countries and help in mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability but also in understanding of different machines.
The first edition of the exercise was conducted at RAFO AFB Thumrait back in 2009, followed by the second edition in 2011 and fourth edition in 2017, being conducted at the Air Force Station, Jamnagar.
Towards the end of the exercise the IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria visited Oman and met Air Vice Marshal Matar Bin Ali Al Obaidani, Commander RAFO at RAFO base Masirah and interacted with both the contingents.