IAF plays war games amid record India Navy presence in Arabian Sea

IAF conducted an exercise ‘Desert Knight’ on Tuesday

iaf exercise Desert Knight IAF conducted an exercise ‘Desert Knight’

With the raging conflict in Israel seriously threatening to spill over to the entire region, the Indian military is trying to make its presence felt if only to indicate its state of preparedness to deal with any eventuality.

There are an unprecedented number of about 12 Indian Navy warships sailing in the Arabian Sea, ostensibly engaged in anti-piracy operations but ready for escort operations for the commercial liners. All these ships have marine commandos, helicopters and surveillance drones.

Meanwhile, the long range MQ-9B drones and P-8 maritime long range reconnaissance aircraft operate as the veritable ‘eyes in the sky’ for the Indian military.

Amid this naval power projection, the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted an exercise ‘Desert Knight’ on Tuesday along with assets of the French Air and Space Force (FASF) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force over the Arabian Sea.

The IAF contingent of Sukhoi 30 MKI, MiG-29, Jaguar, AWACS, C-130-J and an Air-to-Air refueler aircraft took off from an Indian airbase to meet a French Rafale fighter and a multi role tanker transport, and the UAE Air Force’s F-16 fighter midair over the Arabian Sea.

iaf exercise Desert Knight (1)

An IAF release said the main focus of the exercise was on “enhancing synergy and interoperability between the three air forces.”

The interesting facet of the exercise lay in the fact that all platforms flew in from their respective land bases underlining perfect interoperability and mutual understanding that has come from years of having war-gamed together.

Without doubt, Tuesday’s exercise is indicative of high levels of established communication channels and the immense diplomatic and military potential it has.

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