Ex Cope India-18 will start today- Air Force of India and US will begin 12-day military exercise
Source :NewsBharati   Date :03-Dec-2018

New Delhi DEC 3: Air forces of India and the US will begin a 12-day military exercise in Kalaikunda and Panagarh air bases in West Bengal from Monday with an aim to enhance operational coordination.

The 'Ex Cope India-18' will be the fourth edition in the series of bilateral drills between the Indian Air Force and the US Air Force. This is for the first time, the exercise is being held at two air force bases, the officials said.


"The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure and undertake mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability," the IAF said in a statement.


The US has sent a fleet of F15 C/D and C-130 military aircraft, the exercise will host more than 40 aircraft including F-15 and C-130H aircraft of USAF. The IAF is participating with the Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, C-130J and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft.


The Cope India exercise is being held after a gap of eight years, with the last one having taken place in 2010. The US and Indian air forces are enhancing their overall cooperation as part of deepening of defense and security ties between the two countries. US President Donald Trump, in his first prime-time televised address to the nation as commander-in-chief last year, had laid out his South Asia policy saying a "critical part" of it was to further develop the USA's strategic partnership with India.


In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defense Partner" intending to elevate defense trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.